Beautiful Palace + Wine + Delicious Pizza = A Regular Night in BA
(For the record, I do not drink wine and eat pizza every day. But when I do, I like to write about it.)
I was hoping to have a quiet Friday night in.
Then I got a message from Chance to confirm I would be going to the Cuisine & Vins Wine Expo… because he already got my ticket. And I had to leave in 15 minutes to meet the group.
But I was already in my comfy pants
So I said to myself, “Fine. I will woman up and go out tonight. The event starts early unlike everything else in Buenos Aires, so at least I won’t be out too late. No time to eat dinner, but surely there will be bread and cheese and maybe more food at this fancy wine event.”
Wrong! But we’ll get to that in a moment.
I put on my black tights and my leather boots, and I sort of looked like I belong at a fancy wine event in Buenos Aires.
I had not yet been in Palacio Paz, and now that I saw it at night decorated with gorgeous lighting for this event, I have no desire to ever see it again. I want to remember it just as I saw it that night.
It was enchanted, just like a palace should be. Colored lights illuminating the architectural details. Gorgeous chandeliers.
After my initial awe as we entered the palace, we headed for the wine. The palace is huge, so we meandered through several rooms. I was starving because I like to eat dinner at a normal hour unlike Argentines. I had my eye out for any sign of food.
The food was a bit disappointing.
The first thing I saw was pieces of bread. And I’m not talking about a baguette. I would have been delighted to eat pieces of a baguette. I’m talking buy-a-loaf-of-pre-sliced-white-bread-at-the-supermarket kind of bread with each slice cut into fourths.
The other option was waffle cone chips with dulce de leche. Seriously… they think that is appropriate food to have at a wine event. But Argentines have to have their daily allotment of dulce de leche.
Then I saw this, and my mouth started watering.
Unfortunately, hordes of people were swarming, so I only got a few small bites. There was a little part of me that just wanted to start gnawing on it.
There must have been hundreds of wines to sample.
The VIP Room
We had VIP tickets to get into the room with the premium wines, but apparently everyone else did too. It was completely packed, and you had to fight your way to get a sample.
(Note to event organizers: limit the number of VIP tickets next time.)
Instead of the all-you-can-drink gluttony of the rest of the palace, we received 10 tickets. Didn’t think that was too bad until we saw how stingy there were with the pours.
But let’s be honest. There was plenty of wine available. Nobody left thirsty…. only dehydrated. They even had a few decanted wines in the VIP room.
My favorite wine of the night.
In addition to being my favorite wine, this was also my favorite wine server. He was super-friendly despite the hordes of people fighting to get a sample, and he was not stingy with the pour. This is the Tomero Petit Verdot 2008 from Mendoza.
Now satisfied that I’ve tasted the best wine on offer but with only a tablespoon of dulce de leche and some white bread lining my stomach, needed real food.
This is where the delicious pizza comes into the story.
We picked up a hungry Irish food writer at the wine event (her site is Eat Like a Girl – love the name!), and Chance led us to a famous pizza place called El Cuartito a few blocks away. There was a line out the door. This place must be good!
But I was starving and waiting in line would just make me think about how hungry I was.
So what did I do?
I whipped out my camera and ask the guys behind the counter if I couldn come back to the kitchen and have a look around. I think having a big camera gives you a lot of credibility, even if your teeth are stained purple.
I had some fun chatting with the guys and taking photos of the pizza. None of them spoke English, but I definitely talked to them a lot and even understood what they were saying. Maybe my Spanish improves after a few glasses of wine. Or maybe it improves when I am hoping they will offer me a bite of pizza to tide me over until we get our table.
After I was done amusing myself and probably looking like an idiot, we got our table.
We started with the Jamon y Roquefort empanadas.
My new favorite type of empanada.
Then we had a fugazzetta pizza.
Remember me raving about Kentucky Pizza several weeks ago? I think I have to admit that El Cuartito is actually better. Maybe that is the wine talking. All I know is that this was delicious.