On Tuesday night, after what it seemed like an endless day at work, Nancy and I followed Kathryn’s tip and went to La Pampa. Strasbourg La Pampa, not Argentina La Pampa.
The restaurant is run by Andrés Riva and Viviana Schrenck, two Argentineans who share a passion for the art of mastering the fire. Andrés was there and took real good care of us.
He even became a photographer for a minute.
|The two ‘Asadores’, both Nicolas. The true Masters of Fire.|
The decor is really warm, with subdued lights, cowskin wallpaper and reins all over the place.
The little terrace is lovely too.
The two saddle-stools transport you right to La Pampa’s gaucho tradition.
And their cellar is pretty fantastic. I saw some fancy Rutinis just waving us hello.
Now, to what really matters.
That glorious thing without which life is insipid and, well… death basically.
As two glutton meat-loving Latinas, we inspected the menu like we meant business.
We ordered empanadas to warm up.
The chimichurri (typical Argentinean-Uruguayan sauce) was so good that we had to ask for a refill…
Now… I prefer baked empanadas to fried ones… So when I saw them, I was a little sceptical. But the dough was crip and didn’t have that heavy texture that fried empanadas sometimes have. And the filling was juicy and tasty.
We had the tenderloin as a main. Of course we did.
And I can’t begin to tell you how many shades of perfect it was.
A crisp crust on the outside and the juiciest of fleshes inside.
When we started eating it, we were sad at the thought of it being over.
The Malbec wine that Andrés recommended us was divine.
The sides were another masterpiece. Especially the Pumpkin, Carrot or whatever veggie that orange mash had. It had an airy light mousse texture. When you put it in your mouth, you almost didn’t feel it was there. And yet it filled your mouth with pure heaven.
The salad and mushrooms were good too, but nothing compared to the mash.
Then came pudding. Again, we didn’t even have to look at the menu to know what we wanted.
Panqueques con dulce de leche.
As with the empanadas, I was sceptical at first glance.
I thought ‘what is that chantilly doing on my crèpe?’ And ‘why are the pancakes brown?’
Well, my bad.
They were beyond delicious.
The chantilly which Nancy and I usually dispise, was light as air and even refreshing. The pancakes were glazed.
The perfect end to our Argentinean feast.
The wine got us talking so much -not that any of us need any help to gush!- that we were the last to leave.
Good that we’re staying at a Monastery this session…because this was pure sin!
We’re making it a Strasbourg ritual.
Andrés, thank you for everything & see you in two weeks.