Pizzería Guerrín (Avenida Corrientes 1372, tel. 011/4371-8141) is a one-of-a-kind that sells by the slice at the stand-up counter—the fugazza (and fugazzetta) are exquisitely simple and simply exquisite. La Continental (Callao 361, tel. 011/4374-1444, www.lacontinental.com), which has more than a dozen branches around town, is a good backup.
Several tourist-oriented parrillas make a fetish of staking their steaks over hot coals in circular barbecue pits, tended by bogus gauchos in full regalia, behind picture windows. While they play for the cliché and serve too many people for individual attention, the quality is good and prices are reasonable at La Estancia (Lavalle 941, tel. 011/4326-0330, www.asadorlaestancia.com.ar).
Possibly downtown’s best restaurant, the banker’s favorite Sabot (25 de Mayo 756, tel. 011/4313-6587) serves Italo-Argentine dishes of the highest quality in a very masculine environment—women are few but not unwelcome—with good-humored professional service. Moderately expensive by current standards, most entrées, like matambre de cerdo and chivito, plus some fish dishes, cost in the US$10–15 range. A pleasant surprise is the mate de coca from fresh coca leaves (for digestive purposes only). It’s open for weekday lunches only.
© Wayne Bernhardson from Moon Argentina, 3rd edition