I have heard from many tourits that the very best steak house in Buenos Aires is Cabaña Las Lilas. I have also heard from many Argentines that it is overpriced, the portions are small, and the steaks are no better than many other steakhouses. For this reason, I avoided it, because it IS rather expensive. I have no problem paying good money for great food, but the opposite I find very frustrating. Nonetheless, I finally decided to try it out and see for myself how good the steaks are.
First off, its not just a steak restaurant. The menu has a large variety of other plates, for those who do not want or eat beef. However, it seems like a bit of a waste to go to Cabaña Las Lilas and not eat beef (although they have a tasty looking conchinillo on the menu).
We decided to order 3 cuts of meat, to split between the three of us – a filet mignon, a a strip loin, and an entraña. The filet mignon we all wanted medium, the entraña medium rare, but when we got to the strip loin, we had some differences of opionion. I liked it medium, another wanted it medium rare, and another rare. As we were about to decide on medium rare, the server said they would cook it to three different temperatures….we didn´t realise this was possible with such a small steak, but it sounded like a great idea, so that’s what we ordered. As a side, we chose some puffed potatoes as a side. We did not order any appetizers, because we heard they serve lots of food as part of the cubierto. This was true, as I will explain shortly.
The wine list is more like a giant tomb, and is pretty impressive. The only downside is there is a very poor selection of cheaper wines, so be prepared to spend a minimum $70 pesos for a bottle of wine. Luckily, there are some half-bottles if you are not interested in a full bottle. There is a sommelier available to help you with the selection, which is recommended unless you want to spend hours looking at the wines.
After our order, the server came around with a great variety of different breads, about 5 or 6 types. They are served warm, and are quite good. Next, a plate of little appetizers is served. Everything was very good, though some in particular really stood out. For example, there was some cold marinated salmon, sundried tomatoes, a cold ragout of vegetables, and some nice dips. These were more than enough as an appetizer. If we had ordered more, nobody would have been hungry for the appetizers.
A while later our dinner arrived. We were all very eager to dig in, but first, we wanted to check the striploin that was cooked three ways. Sure enough, it was cooked to perfection in three different parts of the steak. This was pretty amazing, not only because they suggested it, but it they pulled it off perfectly. Then it was time to test. The filet mignon was definitely the winner. It was unbelievable tender, and ridiculously flavorful. Delicious, and easily, without a doubt, the best steak I have had in Buenos Aires, and in my life. I will go back just for more tenderloin. The entraña was also very flavorful, although still a bit tough. This is to be expected with this cut, but I was curious to see how good and how tender it could be. It is the best entraña I´ve had in the city, though not by much. The strip loin was also very good, one of the better ones I’ve had, but not the best. The puffed potatoes were quite tasty as well, they are mainly filled with air, but nice and crispy on the outside, and they are extra-tasty with the juice from the steaks.
Although we were pretty stuffed, we still wanted something sweet to finish of the delicious meal. One thing I really liked about Cabaña Las Lilas is that if you order a tea or coffee after dinner, you are brought a small selection of petits fours. These are a small selection of little desserts, and was exactly what we wanted. There were some mini brownies, mini lemon tarts, mini sweet-loafs, and some really delicious candied orange peel. I don’t usually even like orange peel, although I think I have now changed my mind on this.
I was impressed with the service at Cabaña. Although at times a bit slow, it was very professional, and we always had what we needed. This, combined with a nice atmosphere and excellent food (including an exceptional steak), made this a truly enjoyable meal. If you have heard that Cabaña Las Lilas is one of the top steak houses is Buenos Aires, it’s because it is and it is worth the money if you are willing to spend it. Our meal, for three, after tip, came out to just over $600 pesos.
Bottom Line: High quality food and the best steaks in Buenos Aires.
Cabaña Las Lilas
Alicia Moreau de Justo 516, Puerto Madero
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