Palermo Viejo was once a suburb of downtown but in the last decade has become the trendy enclave in Buenos Aires. So trendy in fact that the neighborhood boundaries have expanded to encompass two distinct subdivisions: Palermo Hollywood, a district of thriving film and television production companies, and Palermo SoHo, an area of early twentieth century houses with Italian rococo facades and one-off boutiques.
While not as commercially well organized as its better well-known namesakes in London and New York, therein lies Palermo SoHo’s charm. The streets are not an endless parade of shops and crowds – everything is instead scattered around within amiable walking distance. Retaining that boho feel, you zig and zag your way through the streets – up one, down another, letting the area reveals itself to you in small bits and pieces. A great shop here – like Ay Not Dead, a local Porteño fashion line. A comfortable café there – Cluny, a resto de charme with a tranquil garden. Take your time; linger longer. The people watching is great – and so is the window-shopping.
We tucked into Cluny for lunch and started things off properly with a luscious Malbec Rose, Familia Gascon from the Mendoza wine region. A savory cranberry red, yet light and crisp, it’s the closest I’ve come to a Sancerre rouge outside of France. In fact, I’ll go one better and say it kicks French butt.
Lunch turned into a multitude of courses against our better judgment. But at these prices it was hard to resist. A $60 pesos set menu brought us an entrda, a main course or platos principales, dessert, coffee and a glass of wine. And in case you’re wondering, $ 60 pesos equal approximately $15 US dollars.
View the wreckage below: gazpacho, Quiche Lorraine, Spinach Ravioli with lardons, beef tenderloin macerated in olives and pimentos, trucha or Patagonian trout, and of course, flan.