This is the eighth post in the Hello Argentina Series detailing my week-long trip in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Other posts include Hello Argentina, La Cabrera, La Rambla, Empanadas, Tamales, and Beer, Oh My!, Cabanas Las Lilas, Buenos Aires – Three Most Famous Ice Cream Shops, Chila, and Elena.
This is also post 27 on the 31 Posts in 31 Days challenge.
It may seem surprising that a country full of descendants from Spain would have such a shortage of good seafood in its midst. Legend has it that when the Spanish first settled in Argentina, they were blown away by the vast amounts of available grasslands (pampas) for grazing. The Spanish had always loved beef, but it was very expensive back home due to the small amount land available in Spain.
In Argentina, the new settlers started raising cows on the abundant grassland, and the cows multiplied like crazy. A healthy beef export industry arose. The Argentinians developed a new found love of steak which still strongly predominates today.
What resulted was a city that is filled with parillas (grill restaurants) and surprisingly lacking in good seafood.
Enter Oviedo, one of the oldest, most established seafood restaurants in Buenos Aires. This place has won numerous awards, including the number 27 spot on S. Pellegrino’s Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants list and number 7 on USA Today’s 10 Best restaurants in Buenos Aires. Though cost is on the pricier side, it’s worth a visit for the excellent seafood (the best in the city), well executed Spanish/Iberian fare, and one of the best wine lists in the city.
Bryan and I came here with an Argentinian colleague and her husband (the same person whom I had lunch with at Elena just a few days prior). We started out by sharing a number of appetizers, which are all piled on my share plate pictured above.
On the left is Tortilla Española, a fluffy Spanish omelette chock full of potatoes. On the upper right is Langostinos a la Plancha, or langoustines (a relative of the shrimp) grilled on a metal plate. On the lower right is Cebiche en Honor a Gaston Acurio, or citrus-cured fish (ceviche) in honor of Chef Gaston Acurio, A Peruvian chef.
Everything was fantastic. Nothing particularly fancy, just good, solid Spanish fare perfectly executed in every way.
For my entree, I decided to try the Bacalao Desmigado con Huevo, Salsa de Pimientos y Papas al Horno. This hearty Spanish dish consists of flaked salt cod, eggs, and baked potatoes tossed together with a red pepper sauce.
I loved the combination of flavors in this dish. It was hearty and satisfying, sort of like a soft, custardy omelette filled with salt cod and doused in a creamy pepper sauce.
Bryan ordered the Risotto con Chipirones y Calamares, or risotto made with squid ink sauce served with squid. This was also fantastic. The dark squid ink flavor really shone through. It was intense, strong, and extremely flavorful with tons of oceany umami.
We shared several desserts. My favorite was the Flan de Dulce de Leche, a traditional Spanish egg custard with the Argentinian twist of dulce de leche. It was sweet, creamy, and had lots of caramel flavors.
We came away from Oviedo extremely impressed with the overall quality of the food. The seafood is fresh and the flavors of the dishes were excellent.
My Argentinian colleague told us “this is one of our favorite restaurants. We live just around the corner and we come very frequently.”
I can totally see why.
Throughout our Buenos Aires trip we ate at several fancy and award–winning restaurants. Although Ovieda is far from being the most high end place we visited (you can tell by its more rustic and simplistic plating), it was one of my favorite meals the entire trip.
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