Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Sardinia for Lunch

Argentina may be famous for beef, but the millions of Italian immigrants who surged into the country from the late 19th to the mid-20th centuries have left at least as strong an imprint on the cuisine. By some estimates, Buenos Aires has 4,000 pizzerias, and pastas are an almost daily presence on both restaurant and household menus.

Because I am not a specialist food writer who can make multiple visits before writing a review, and because of space limitations in a paperback guidebook, I normally can't give individual restaurants the attention that a newspaper or magazine food writer can. Still, in the course of researching and writing guidebooks, spending five months every year in southern South America, I eat out frequently and am always on the lookout for novelties.

Earlier this year in Palermo, I found an uncommon alternative to standard Italo-Argentine food in the Sardinian restaurant Sa Giara (pictured here), which gets an endorsement in the upcoming third edition of Moon Handbooks Buenos Aires. I also suggested it to Dan Perlman, who operates Barrio Norte's Casa Salt Shaker "closed doors" restaurant and writes an exceptional Buenos Aires food blog in which he reviews Sa Giara today. I was pleased Dan concurred with my recommendation, but I'll defer to him as the most authoritative source on dining out in BA, even if we have occasional differences of opinion.

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