Picture this, you are in Buenos Aires, the Argentinian capital and you’re having dinner with perfect strangers in the home of a passionate chef who crafted a unique menu just for all of you. In a few words, you feel like you’re in the home of a friend, yet the cuisine is gourmet and the service excellent.
How did you get there?
You went to a puertas cerradas instead of going to a traditional restaurant.
If you want to live an experience around wine and food, something unusual and fun this is what‘s on the offer.
What is a puertas cerradas?
Puertas Cerradas is the Spanish version of closed doors. This concept may have originated in Cuba at the beginning of the 2000’s.
Tourists while visiting Cuba are being offered to lodge in casa particulares where they can spend the night in Cubans houses. Some houses started to offer dining secretly to their visitors.
The concept has been taken by many chefs all around the world keen on the idea of offering a more intimate and unique experience to their guests.
These dinners are being called, Cenas Escondidas in Chile, Pop-Up in NorthAmerica or UK, Living Room Dinners in South Africa and Puertas Cerradas in Argentina.
Usually, you hear about them by word of mouth. You must be warned though that some are illegal.
In a few words:
- You eat at a chef house or in an exclusive private club.
- Exclusive, intimate and familiar environment.
- Unique and creative Menu fixed by the chef.
- Opened 1 or 2 days of the week only.
- Usually less pricey than what you will pay for in a restaurant. (Although this is not always the case as some closed doors have been really successful).
How does this work?
- Reservation is essential.
- You pay before or half of it.
- You show up on time.
- The address is revealed to you in general upon booking.
Here are 5 Puertas Cerradas to be explored during your stay in the Argentinian Capital.
1- Casa Felix
Casa Felix has been created by a passionate and creative American-Argentinian couple, Diego Felix and Sanra Ritten, who didn’t plan to do it this way at the beginning but only write a book on Latin America food that they never wrote.
Today they are travelling internationally crafting unique dinners for whoever call them on the road. They live a gipsy life while raising their kids in California where the Chef’s wife is from.
They owned today 3 closed doors: one in Buenos Aires and two others in the United States (New York and Santa Cruz).
Location is revealed upon reservation.
2- Casa Salt Shaker
This may be one of the oldest puerta cerradas in Buenos Aires, Casa Salt Shaker is located in Recoleta and owned by Dan Perlman, an American Chef from Michigan.
They offer a 5-course meal of Mediterranean south American food with ingredients from Chile, Peru and Bolivia.
An intimate dining experience will be offered as you will be sharing a table with the 9 other guests. Most Closed-doors restaurant today in Buenos Aires don’t offer anymore this kind of social experience.
Address revealed upon reservation (Recoleta Neighbourhood). About $USD80.00. You will share an intimate table with 9 other guests.
3- Ocho Once
Located in Palermo in the Chef House, a beautifully decorated loft with an intimate feel of 5 or 6 tables.
Ocho Once is the result of a brilliant partnership between Gonzalo Bazterrica, a talented Argentinian chef who has practised the craft in the best tables all over the world and a Swiss musician Dieter Meier.
You will be offered a 5-course meal of French-Latin cuisine with an accent on organic food and wines. The Menu changes every week using vegetables of the season. The wines are from Dieter Meier estate located in Mendoza and are certified organic.
Palermo neighbourhood. Open from Wednesday to Saturday. firstname.lastname@example.org
4- Casa Coupage
Inès Mendieta y Santiago Mymicopulo is the couple behind Casa Coupage, a Puerta Cerrada focused on wine. If your a wine lover this may be your go-to place!
Sommeliers by profession, they offer guided tasting once per month.
Focused on wine. email@example.com
Based in an old train warehouse in Palermo, this dining experience is a multi-sensory affair. Incense smell, live music, antique dining furniture will make it an unforgettable time for you!
Pancho Salomon, the owner, is an Argentian antique collector. His son is the cook and created a 4-course seasonable menu.
Palermo Neighbourhood. Dinner is offered twice a week usually Fridays and Saturdays.