Buenos Aires’ Closed-Door Restaurants

One of the most interesting trends in the Buenos Aires restaurant scene is closed-door restaurants, also known as restaurantes a puertas cerradas or simply puertas cerradas. These restaurants aren’t really restaurants at all but rather dinners served in the homes of private chefs, or in exclusive private clubs.

Alejandro Langer, chef at La Cocina Discreta in Villa Crespo, describes them as “an environment that is intimate, exclusive and familiar at the same time. The people feel like they are having dinner in the home of a friend. But at the same time enjoy gourmet cuisine and a high-level of service.”

“I don’t feel like it’s a restaurant, I feel like people come to eat to my house”, says Diego Felix, chef at Casa Felix, a popular, informal puerta cerrada in Palermo.

Closed-door restaurants are typically open only certain nights of the week with limited seating. Prices tend to be high by Buenos Aires standards. For example, Casa Saltshaker charges 150 pesos (US$43) per person for a five-course meal with matched wine, or 110 pesos (US$32) without wine.

Menus are usually fixed by the chef. Some chefs feel this format allows them to be more creative and adventurous with their cooking.

Reservations are essential. You can’t just show up at the door and expect to be seated. Expect to pay in cash. Few closed-door restaurants accept credit cards.

Here’s a list of a dozen or so closed-door restaurants in Buenos Aires for you to explore.

 

Casa Felix (Palermo)

  • Chef Diego Felix cooks up “pescaterian” cuisine with exotic flavors and spices. Only 12 seats.
  • http://www.diegofelix.com

Treintasillas (Colegiales)

La Cocina Discreta (Villa Crespo)

Casa Coupage (Palermo) 

Casa Saltshaker (Barrio Norte)

Kensho (Boedo)

Paladar Doña Fela (Almagro) 

Ocho7ocho (Palermo Soho)

  • Bar/restaurant named for its location at Thames 878.
  • No website – Tel: 4773-1098

Caracoles para Da Vinci (Villa Crespo)

Casa Roca (Micro Centro)

Tipo Casa (Almagro)

El Poney Pisador (Villa Urquiza)

MAAT Club Privado (Belgrano)

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Filed under: Restaurants, Things To Do

Comments

  1. Damien Says:

    Nice little article and a good round-up, though, Maat and 878 aren’t exactly in the same category. Maat is a membership club that has as one of its benefits a restaurant, though you can go to the restaurant as a non-member, you just pay more. And 878 is, while great fun, just a large bar and restaurant that advertises, you can just walk into, and isn’t like eating in a private space – it just doesn’t happen to have a sign in front.

  2. CJ Says:

    Thanks for the info, Damien. If anyone knows of any other closed-door restaurants in BA, pls post them. I’d love to check them out. Thanks.

  3. Dat Says:

    CJ, This is great! Thanks for the list.

    Another great closed door restaurant in BA is “A Little Saigon”, http://www.alittlesaigon.com . They serve Vietnamese food on the 2nd and 4th weekends, Friday – Sunday. I think they seat 14 max but you could write Thuy to find out more.

    Thanks again!
    Dat

  4. Alyssa Says:

    My husband and I are traveling to BA at the end of this month and are very interested in the closed door restaurants. We are always seeking more authentic, less touristy, experiences in our travels. Our Spanish is pretty rusty though… will that be a problem?

  5. CJ Says:

    Alyssa, that shouldn’t be a problem. At least some English is spoken at most closed door restaurants in BA.

  6. best adobo found! « SEE THIS, SEE THAT Says:

    [...] about Filipino food featuring adobo. But those adobos seriously pale to THE ONE at Cocina Sunae, a puerta cerrada in the Chacarita barrio, owned by the very talented [...]

  7. Gish Says:

    Los invito a darse una vuelta por Los Panistas de Palermo.
    Restaurante a puertas cerradas en palermo con mini galeria de arte y terraza.
    Especialidad: comida fusión latinomaericana.

    http://www.lospanistasdepalermo.blogspot.com
    Salut!

  8. HBAcres Says:

    This was our 6th trip to Argentina and we never leave without taking home at least 3kg extra around the belly. We love all the restaurants in all the local barrios but somehow while at home we learned about “closed door” dining. Must say the idea of sitting in some strangers home and eating sounded crazy! Let me say, the first night we went out to try this “closed door” thing, we were blown away, the attention you are afforded is like no restaurant, the look and feel of our first home was amazing and we were served by the chef, owner and sommelier we went for a 3 course dinner and after hearing about their 7 course tasting menu and wine pairings we were sold! we stayed about 3 hours, not because they were slow but because of the attention given to us. I have been an avid traveler since the early 90′s and love to leave the country and experience the world. We have many neighbors that have never left the US and don’t have a global perspective how wonderful the world’s, food and culture can be. We have now gone each night so far of our 6 night stay to “closed door” dinners and have reservations at 3 more. no two are alike but the attention is equal. Now this trip I plan to take home more like 4.5kg around the belly and I will smile while tugging to get my pants buttoned. joke

  9. Alexandra Says:

    We opened a small closed-door restaurant for meat lovers in Palermo Hollywood and would love to meet new people who share our passion for food. We speak English, French and Russian. Our site with more info:

    http://casarosemary.com/

    Just write us a note!

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