La Parolaccia del Mare has a beautiful view of the Puerto Madero waterfront. Open for lunch and dinner every day, the restaurant serves abundant plates of pasta and seafood in a pleasant, upscale setting. The large fish tank is a nice touch. La Parolaccia del Mare's wine list has many good choices and the volcan de chocolate for dessert is heavenly. During the week, the fixed-price lunch is a good value. Also, if you go to La Parolaccia del Mare on your birthday or anniversary, ask for the free limoncello. The restaurant is part of a chain that has several locations throughout Buenos Aires.
Recommended for Fine Dining because: Here diners can enjoy good food and a view of the waterfront.
Sarah's expert tip: If you have a car, you're in luck. La Parolaccia del Mare has free parking and offers valet service too. Otherwise, you can find buses and taxis nearby.
With a distinctly New York feel, Basa Basement Bar & Restaurant is a cool upmarket place for a meal and a drink in Recoleta. The music tends to be fast and furious with lots of drum and bass and the gourmet food – think tapas, pastas, grilled meats and heavenly desserts – skews Mediterranean. Though their cocktails are good and the wine list is extensive, you can find many types of liquor there that other places in Buenos Aires lack. Once you descend the steps you'll find a dining area towards the front, seating with low couches in the middle and the bar towards the back, but this is one basement you won't want to leave.
Recommended for Fine Dining because: Basa is an upscale place to have dinner and drinks in Recoleta. It feels intimate even in a crowd.
Sarah's expert tip: Basa can get packed on weekend nights, but as long as you have a seat, it's all good. Dinner reservations are generally recommended; however, they are essential on weekends.
Named after a famous Parisian bar, the Buenos Aires version of Bar du March� is a small but exceedingly charming French-style restaurant. Open all day and specializing in wine and cheese, Bar du March� is as good an excuse as any to while away the afternoon over a great bottle of wine and some fantastic food. If you don't feel like a full meal (even though their multi-course meals are quite excellent), try their cheese and charcuterie plates. When the weather is nice, you can sit at one of the French-style caf� tables outside. Bar du March� also does a nice brunch.
Walk into Green Bamboo and you will find yourself a world away from Buenos Aires. This Vietnamese restaurant decorated with deep red walls and exotic decor exudes South Asian charm and sets the stage for a fun and romantic night. The lighting is dim and atmospheric, and you can choose to sit at a regular table or a low table with pillows. The food is tasty, Vietnamese-inspired fare, but the portions are not generous. Don't be shy about trying some of their tropical cocktails, or ordering dessert, which reveal French leanings through chocolate mousses and crepes. Make a reservation if you can.
Recommended for Fine Dining because: Green Bamboo is an excellent and romantic place to dine.
Sarah's expert tip: Sitting at one of the low tables with pillows on the floor can be fun, especially on a first date, but probably not for someone with long legs.
This Palermo Soho steakhouse stalwart hasn't been much swayed by the trendification of the neighborhood and continues to serve choice cuts without gimmicks in a comfortable, traditional space. Think rustic style but still charming. Service at this Buenos Aires steakhouse is always warm and knowledgeable; this is the perfect place to acquaint yourself with the happy marriage of Argentinian beef and wine. Let the waiters at Don Julio help you if you find yourself overwhelmed with the large wine list. As could be expected, they specialize in Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon. Try to sit outside when the weather is nice.
Recommended for Fine Dining because: Don Julio does meat like it should be done in BA.
Sarah's expert tip: Come to Don Julio for the grilled cuts of meat copiously washed down with bottles of Argentine wine, but stay for the flambeed figs with ice cream.
Located off the tourist trail in leafy and residential Belgrano (which is a bizarrely low-key address for such a high-concept restaurant), Sucre is at the cutting-edge of modern Argentine cuisine. Though there are plenty of fusion accents and foams and frills, the innovation invariably works; the chef stops well short of frivolity and always uses the finest ingredients (with an emphasis on seasonal and local). A fantastic wine list, creative cocktails and an impressive industrial-chic interior design make this one of Buenos Aires' top tables. Top off a meal with one of their coffee drinks. You can make reservations online at least 24 hours in advance.
iLatina is a restaurant that combines the style of a fine dining experience with the flavors of northern South America (think Colombia, Venezuela and Peru). The restaurant artfully presents a seven course menu paired with Argentine wines for an experience you will not soon forget. Factor in the good service and an intimate setting, and iLatina has got a winning combination. The restaurant is run by a trio of Colombian siblings. Santiago is the chef, while Camilo and Laura are the knowledgeable hosts. In fact, the service is one of the highlights of iLatina. The staff is warm and attentive, and each course is explained as it is served.
Recommended for Fine Dining because: At iLatina you will find creative dishes and good service.
Sarah's expert tip: iLatina is a romantic place to dine, but not overtly so. If you are looking to impress a date without setting off all the romance alarm bells, then iLatina is a good choice.
El Muelle restaurant is a treat. It sits inside the historic Fisherman's Club, a beautiful Buenos Aires landmark, that stands on a pier in the Costanera Norte. The food focuses on Mediterranean-inspired seafood dishes such as garlic-sauteed shrimp, prawn salad, smoked salmon, octopus and seafood paellas. Local fish choices include pacu and surubi. Otherwise, there are meat dishes and pastas; a couple of the pastas are suitable for vegetarians. A word of warning: the desserts can be too tempting to pass up. At El Muelle you can choose to sit outside on the terrace or inside with views of the water.
Recommended for Fine Dining because: The elegant El Muelle has great seafood dishes and waterfront views.
Sarah's expert tip: The Fisherman's Club (Club de Pescadores in Spanish) is still active today. They put on a number of fishing and social activities for members and their families.
Opened in 2006 and located in Puerto Madero, Chila is considered one of the best restaurants in Latin America. Chila serves modern Argentine cuisine, including steak from Buenos Aires, trout from Bariloche and vieras from Usuahia, but the menu changes each season, incorporating different local products. Many of the dishes are beautifully presented. The restaurant's decor is modern and upscale; it is not minimalist per se but they keep it simple and classy, paying attention to textures. Ask to sit by the window to enjoy a view of the water. While Chila is only open for dinner, it is open every day.
Recommended for Fine Dining because: Chila is an excellent place to experience modern Argentine cuisine.
Sarah's expert tip: For a special occasion or if cash isn't a problem, try Chila's three or seven course tasting menus. They also do a grand New Year's Eve dinner.
Again and again Osaka is cited as the city's best restaurant. Part of a six-location chain that began in Lima, Peru, Osaka specializes in Peruvian-Japanese fusion cuisine of the highest order. Here you can expect exquisite presentation and execution – the philosophy of cooking as art. The menu emphasizes both ceviche and sushi, but you will also find dishes like ishiyaki, spicy sour shrimp, udon and seaweed salad. The decor at Osaka is sleek and chic and destined to impress. Advance booking is essential. Besides the location in Puerto Madero, you can get another helping of Osaka in cool Palermo.
Recommended for Fine Dining because: Dining at Osaka is regularly considered one of Buenos Aires' best culinary experiences.
Sarah's expert tip: If you have a small party, try dining at the beautiful bar. Of course, once you're there, it will be impossible to resist a cocktail with your sushi.