To South America and Back

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Review: La Mora

After getting a strong recommendation from "Buzz Dos" (the friendly Quinta Rufino hostel owner who looks and acts strikingly like my father) to try a restaurant named Facunda for a good steak, we were instead drawn in by the site of a small restaurant on a dark residential street in Mendoza called La Mora (which translates to Blackberry). The restuarant had an air of an upscale eatery, one that you would find amongst the Petit Roberts and Bacchus' of the States. The place had maybe ten tables, two of them being occupied. We opted for the charming outdoor table. It was here that we met who we thought to be our waiter but turned out to be the security guard (who looked strikingly like John Turturro). We recieved the typical bread that Mendoza restaurants dole out but we're surpised by a tasty mustand-mayo mixture dip accompaniment. That night Jeremy dined on the most scrumptious steak medallions in roquefort cream with sauteed veggies and me on an amazing dish of fresh homemade raviolis stuffed with spinach and ricotta and topped with a sauce of gruyere, various other cheeses and mushrooms. We washed it down with a delicious local Cabernet called "33". I have to say that this was the best meal we've had yet. We tipped the security guard and waiter (who brought our dishes) well and the total in US dollars came to about $15. We thanked our lovely hosts and rolled ourselves to our hostel.

We had to go back the next night (which was also the last in this favorite city of ours so why not a big hurrah?!).

Jeremy and I arrived La Mora at about 10 pm. We decided to eat inside this time. The one and only actual waiter (who I believe was also one of the chefs) greeted us as well as the security guard. They seemed so excited to see us and happy to chat with us while we decided our meals for the evening. Jeremy chose a pork dish with a mustard sauce and thinly sliced fried potatoes, while I ordered bruschetta (which in Argentina is similar to a kebob in the States) consisting of peices of grilled steak marinated in Malbec. As a quick aside, for those of you who don't know, Argentinean beef is some of the best in the world! We also decided to share the most wonderful appetizer that was presented in tin foil and contained what we might call potaoes au gratin with thinly sliced potaotes cooked in a cream sauce with three different cheeses and topped with green onions. All three of these dishes blew our minds and we couldn't believe our luck with this second visit. We washed this meal down with our favorite Trapiche Malbec from the area, finishing it all off with a plate covered in fresh fruit, a dollup of ice cream, a delicate brownie, and peices of merengue. The whole while we ate, our two new friends talked with us about their favorite American music (Cypress Hill and Aerosmith being tops), their favorite Argentinean music (Reggaetone and Catupecu Machu). We discussed their families and the best spots in Mendoza to shop and drink. Jeremy expressed interest in the sacho corchos (wine bottle opener that's better equipped that the usual) that the waiter carried around which led to it being a departing gift that we were most thankful for. Jeremy also showed interest in the waiter's shoes and he attempted to offer those as well if he didn't need them for the rest of the night! As we tried to bring the night to a close, they surprised us with a litre of Quilmes (beer) and two goblets. They dunked the goblets in salt (margarita style), filled each glass with beer and topped them off with orange slices. Now, we've enjoyed our fair share of Quilmes, but it had never been presented to us in such a way and by such wonderful hosts! The salt made the beer seem incredibly bubbly and helped to settle our full stomachs. It was now 1 am and three hours of eating, drinking, and using our bad Spanish had prepared us for much needed slumber. We offered a quick thanks to the sweet female chef who had been hiding in the kitchen all night. Then we sadly left our new friends, traded emails, addresses, and immense appreciation. As we lumbered home we realized that the bill we thought to be so big was actually only $25 US dollars...for everything!!! We then decided that our night at La Mora was the best dining experience we've ever had.


At 12:37 PM, Anonymous Tex said...

My First Time!
I'm officially in. I'm part of your blog and proud to be here. I've caught myself up with all the latest, have loved it all, and look forward to more. Glad to hear you're both having such a wonderful time and am quite a bit jealous of almost all of it. I'll try and check back often and keep myself updated. KEEP TRUCKING!~Jedd~

At 6:38 PM, Anonymous Kathy D. said...

Does it ever rain down there? Or do you just pick the sunny day pictures to show us? It sounds and looks like you two are having a great time!! I too am a bit jealous. Dad and I are considering quitting our jobs and joining you!! Ha! Love, Mom


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