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Eating in Palermo Soho, Buenos Aires

Yesterday I gave you the scoop on Palermo Soho’s NY-inspired shopping scene. While this popular Buenos Aires neighborhood is bursting with delectable retail, it’s their gifted gastronomy that reels in scores of visitors from around the world. One eatery partly responsible for this attention is Mott – the city’s extraordinary answer to America’s farm-to-table concept.

Headed by chef Maria Lancio, this restaurant’s menu shifts depending on what is in season and readily available in the area’s organic mercado (or farmer’s market). Before I expand on this superior dining experience, let me explain why I’m in BA to begin with.

There’s nothing that fascinates me more than people that are passionate about something completely out of my realm. This year, Stella Artois challenged beer aficionados across the country to showcase their mastery of the Belgian beer’s nine-step pouring ritual. Yes, pouring the perfect Stella Artois is an actual art form, and serious competitors turned up in droves. The challenge also took place around the world, and the champions from over 28 countries – including U.S. winner Sean Besser Hank winner – have united here in Argentina to compete in Stella’s 15th Annual World Draught Master competition. No, I’m not competing – although I hear there’s a press challenge tonight that’s calling to my competitive nature. I’m just here to report on the phenomenon, which led me to this awesome press lunch at Mott.

Mott’s cocina de mercado (or market cuisine) was the setting for Stella Artois’ beer and food pairing experiment, which was essentially a rollercoaster for the tastebuds. Led by the brand’s beer sommelier Marc Strootbandt, guests experienced the best of Mott’s seasonal dishes and a course-by-course tasting of the Belgian brew that was complimented by Patagonia amber lager and Argentina’s celebrated beer, Quilmes.

The charming Strootbandt leading the first course, which was graciously tweaked for my pescatarian self (a non-meateater in Argentina, I know). The first image is of my mind-blowing salmon entrée with a quinoa salad and carrot puree that I need to steal the recipe for asap.

The head of the well-fed table belonged to Stella Artois master brewer, Paul Van De Walle.

The dreamy finale featured a sip of Quilmes, a bite of this melts-in-your-mouth chocolate dessert, and another sip of Quilmes, which was, in a word, perfect.
“Mott: Farm-to-Table Fare in Buenos Aires”
By Natalie Alcala
October 26, 2011

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