Restaurantes a puertas cerradas, or closed-door restaurants, are on the rise in Buenos Aires, where Argentine and international chefs alike are delivering some of the city’s best culinary offerings in the elusive quarters of their own homes. These private gatherings have been around for years, with the dinner party circuit allowing chefs complete creative control to invite a limited number of guests to their in-home establishments. The events take place anywhere from two to five nights a week, per the specific chef’s choice. The meals are generally a prix fixe dinner, ranging from three to seven courses. There are over an estimated 100 closed-door restaurants in Buenos Aires, which are quickly becoming the most lucrative establishments in town. Take a direct flight from the US on LAN Airlines, and discover some of the best private dinner parties where you can eat like a local in Buenos Aires. To make a reservation at any of the closed-door restaurants below, click through to their respective websites. (NB–the websites are in Spanish, so have your español, or Google Translate ready to go.)
Founded with the purpose of promoting Latin American food culture, Casa Felix focuses on the importance of biodiversity and the need for organic production. Started by Diego Felix and Sanra Ritten as a means of sharing South American cuisine, they began hosting guests in their garden. Now, as they expand their operation to New York and California, resident chef Álvaro Zapata helms the Casa Felix Buenos Aires kitchen Thursday through Saturday. Here he serves a six-step pescatarian meal, inspired by the aromas, flavors and spices of Latin America. The evening begins with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres in the garden, followed by a move to a casual lounge where guests are served a tasting menu with wine pairings.
At a quiet residence in the Belgrano neighborhood of Buenos Aires, you can find Argentine Chef Ezequiel Gallardo cooking up Mediterranean cuisine for a group of thirty (or fewer) patrons on Friday and Saturday evenings. Having more than 10 years of restaurant experience in Argentina and the United States, Chef Gallardo craved a deeper, more authentic experience and connection with his clients. He opened Treintasillas in the hopes of creating a just this. Once you sign up to for a dining experience at Treintasillas , an email is delivered to your inbox with the evening’s menu, which includes several courses and wine or champagne pairings with each.
Located in the heart of Palermo Hollywood, one of Buenos Aires most bohemian districts, is Casa Coupage, a closed-door restaurant started by two expert sommeliers, with only nine tables available at any time. Dinner takes place Wednesday to Saturday evenings in the private dining room of a charming, mid-century, Palermo home, where the seasonal menu is prepared by a private chef. The sommeliers pair each course with a specially selected wine, guiding guests through the experience by explaining the background of each wine, the variety of grape and details about the winemaker. Casa Coupage is open for private events, wine tastings, lunch and dinner.
Created by the Colombian brothers Santiago and Camilo Macías Laura, i Latina is located in a home in the Villa Crespo neighborhood, where resident Chef Santiago serves the best Latin fusion in all of Buenos Aires from Tuesday to Saturday evenings. The seven-course menu combines traditional flavors derivative of the Caribbean and Colombia, including an exclusive wine pairing with each. i Latina also takes claim as one of the only closed-door restaurants to serve brunch, which takes place every Sunday.
Winners of our Colombia Green and Gold sweepstakes, Tom L. and Mary A. are back from their trip to Colombia with rave reviews.
“The arrangements and accommodations were excellent, the guides knowledgeable and personable, and the itinerary flowed smoothly and effectively. It was a terrific vacation for us – educational, entertaining and very enjoyable. All around, a truly pleasurable week in a beautiful and friendly country.” they write.
Tom and Mary report some of the highlights included visiting Bogota’s Monserrate in the evening, a coffee tasting while touring the Museo del Oro and a mountain hike and boat trip in Tayrona National Park. Check out some of their photos from the trip.
by Michaela Trimble
Rio de Janeiro rightfully wears the title of cidade maravilhosa (marvelous city), as it’s the epicenter of Brazilian culture and soul. Part city, part sprawling jungle, Rio is a maze of spiraling hills, each containing a different neighborhood with its own distinct charm. With a direct flight on TAM Airlines from the US, you are transplanted into a tropical paradise, where samba, caipirinhas and acai are king in mere hours. Here’s how you can experience Rio de Janeiro in just three short days.
Chilean poet Pablo Neruda once wrote in Ode to Valparaiso, “Valparaiso, how absurd you are, what a lunatic, crazy port,” perfectly summing up the aesthetic of this quirky city by the sea. Ravaged by fire and earthquakes through much of its history, Valparaiso has thrived in the face of adversity, all the while developing a culture unique from the rest of Chile. A feast for the eyes and stomach, nowhere is this more evident than the cuisine. Let’s take a look at a few dishes that make Valparaiso the perfect destination for foodies from around the globe.
Lured by the hustle and bustle of Medellin and Bogota, travelers often overlook Barranquilla, the Caribe capital of Colombia. A vastly different experience than other cities, Barranquilla maintains an authenticity and charm with an emphasis on culture and history. Home of literary genius Gabriel Garcia Marquez, come see how Barranquilla inspired his works and put Colombia on the map.
A restaurant and bar that’s considered the birthplace of the Barranquilla Group founded by Marquez, the co-op is a pioneering place of expression for the brightest minds in the country to collaborate. Still a popular gathering spot for artistic expression, La Cueva regularly hosts music and poetry nights for the intellectually curious. Any fan of Latin American literature should make a pilgrimage to this temple to creativity and culture.