Vin and I were invited to a press dinner at Chimichurri Grill East, an Argentinian restaurant on the east side that used to house David Burke’s Townhouse.  The space was beautiful and classy with a lovely bar by the front entrance, a grand dining room in the back with high ceilings and artsy decor, and a separate dance floor/tango bar casually known as the “pink room” for Tuesday tango nights. This Argentinian steakhouse is a fancy “mom and pop store” per executive chef Carlos, but we thought it was quite a sophisticated and upscale restaurant. The chef and his wife, Alicia, also have another location on the West Side that Alicia mostly manages. I particularly love the backstory of how the restaurants came to be: Carlos was an art director and wanted to retire, but he met Alicia at a food event in Miami and voila… they opened up Chimichurri Grill 20 years ago on the West Side in NYC and opened the East Side location just over a year ago.

Sssssweetbreads

We had a set tasting menu paired with all Argentinian wines that Alicia hand selected for the meal. The first dish was Mollejas a la Provencal, or what I happily refer to as one of the most decadent and elegant potato chip bites I’ve ever had.  Hearty pieces of grilled veal heart sweetbreads were served atop a deep fried sweet Peruvian purple potato with a house made garlic, red pepper, wine and parsley Provencal sauce. First off, I loved that the chef kicked us off with offal.  It is so Argentinian and I’m so glad that this was highlighted.  People who say they’re “foodies” who don’t like these jewels of meat just never had pieces cooked by Chef Carlos.  The sweetbreads had been boiled and grilled and seasoned so well that every bit of the offal was creamy and meaty. The Provencal sauce smelled and tasted heavenly and the purple potato chip added a great crisp element to the bite.  This was paired with a Luca Pinot Noir with hints of berries, spice, and leather which brought out a smoky fruit flavor when eaten with the sweetbreads. Talk about starting a meal with a bang.

Read More