Five Ways to Say ‘I Love You’ in Buenos Aires

Whatever your preferred method for stoking the flames of passion, Buenos Aires has the tools to tend the fire.
By Mark Chesnut for PASSPORT Magazine
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Dining Resources
Bereber: North African cuisine served in a stylish Bohemian atmosphere.

Buenos Aires Gay Wine Store: Wine bar that conducts tastings and can also ship to hotels and overseas. They specialize in their own "gay wine," called Pilot.

Elles: Simple elegance characterizes the setting for the tasty French-Brazilian fusion cuisine.

El Manto: Dark colors and self-described "mystic" influence give flavor to the dining experience at this Armenian restaurant.

Empire Thai: One of the best places to sample Thai cuisine in Buenos Aires; gay-owned.

Soul Café: Set in the newly hot neighborhood called Las Cañitas, Soul Café is a lively, trendy take on Argentinian dishes.

Te Mataré Ramírez: This self-proclaimed "aphrodisiac restaurant" features explicitly named cuisine and anatomically correct puppet shows.
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Romance means different things to different people. It may involve an elegant candlelit dinner, an exciting night on the town, or an intimate encounter under the covers. Whatever your preferred method for stoking the flames of passion, Buenos Aires has the tools to tend the fire. Considering that Buenos Aires was one of the first cities in Latin America to enact same-sex domestic partnership laws (it happened in 2003), this beautiful South American capital is the perfect place to get cozy with your loved one. Of course, treating your other half to a business class seat (like TAM's comfy flat-bed) is a good way to start your romantic voyage. How do you say "I love you" after you've arrived in Buenos Aires? Let us count the ways.

OVER DINNER

Candlelight caresses your face as you reach across the table and stroke your lover's hand. Conversation flows as freely as the wine. As you gaze into each other's eyes, it's like there's no one else in the world. Buenos Aires has plenty of places where you can capture that kind of magic, and they are increasingly diverse. As Buenos Aires has blossomed as an international hotspot, its cuisine has taken on a brilliantly diverse hue. There are now countless places to enjoy food from all corners of the globe, often served with a dash of creativity in a gay-friendly environment. Every neighborhood has its own romantic nooks in which to dine. In the Microcentro, the city's downtown, Empire Thai serves up—you guessed it—Thai food. The restaurant's owner, Kevin Rodriguez, is from the United States, but he liked Buenos Aires so much that he moved here to open his business. Because of its location in the city center, Empire Thai is popular for business lunches, but it's also located conveniently close to some of the city's biggest tourist sites—perfect for a romantic meal after a day of sightseeing.

Another excellent, gay-friendly choice for lunch or dinner is La Farmacia: Cocina y Arte, in the tourist-popular San Telmo district. A loosely interpreted pharmacy theme combines with original artwork to set the stage for delicious cuisine like beef medallions and homemade ravioli filled with salmon.

For even more romantic dining options, head to the neighborhood called Palermo, which has become so popular that it has been broken down into separate sub-districts. Palermo Soho is now one of the hottest neighborhoods in the city, and has the restaurants to prove it. Among the ideal places for a romantic meal here is Bereber, which serves North African specialties like couscous and Moroccan tagine stew. Its dimly lit, lounge-like, and slightly Bohemian atmosphere is perfect for a quiet chat.

If your idea of romance is a bit more explicit and marked with a sense of humor, head to Te Mataré Ramírez, a few blocks away in Palermo Soho (there is also a branch in San Isidro). At first, the place looks like any other fancy eatery: dim lights, candles, lush décor, but look a bit closer and you'll see why it's billed as an "aphrodisiac restaurant." The art depicts fully nude men and women, the salt and pepper shakers are shaped like sperm, and the menu features creatively named dishes like "Dishonestly and Volcanically, He Conquered Me with Obscene Words" (which is lamb, candied in its own juices and stuffed with eggplant, in case you couldn't guess). Be sure to stay for the anatomically correct puppet show, which showcases activities derived from every imaginable variation of sexual orientation.

Upscale dining, of an equally creative but decidedly less sexual nature, is all the rage in Las Cañitas, another of the city's happening neighborhoods. One of the most fun places here is Soul Café, a retro-hip restaurant that changes chefs every month, guaranteeing a fresh dining experience. Soul Café's menu is cleverly based on pop icons, with dishes like Chimi Hendrix and Flan Sinatra among the offerings.

For a quieter experience, head to Palermo Hollywood and El Manto: Sagrada Cocina Armenia + Bar. This darkly elegant eatery infuses its Armenian recipes with "mysticism and secrets" supposedly handed down through generations, and its tasty dishes include lamb shish kebab and mousaka (eggplant lasagna filled with tomato and beef). Like many of the most romantic restaurants, El Manto has a pleasant rooftop area for warm-weather dining.

One of the latest romantic eateries to open in the Palermo Hollywood district is Elles, a casually elegant restaurant whose fusion cuisine reflects the imagination of both its French owner and Brazilian chef. In addition to its candlelit interior, Elles has a rooftop terrace that is a lovely place to enjoy dishes like Moqueca Loca de Pesce (a delicate fish stew with white rice); desserts include tempting mocha chocolate cake with Mandarin vodka compote.

Argentina is proud of its wines—and what could be more appropriate than a gay wine to fire up that gay romance? The Buenos Aires Gay Wine Store opened in May 2006, complete with its own brand: Pilot Gay Wine. You can sit at the wine bar to savor a glass or two, or the store can deliver a bottle or two to your hotel—or even ship it overseas to surprise your other half when you get home.


Published: 11 Aug 2008 | Last Updated: 22 Jan 2013
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication

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