Raquel Coltrinari of Comme il Faut recommends that I walk to the shop. “Avenue del Libertador is even more beautiful than Avenue des Champs d’Elysees. You will see.” Her list of recommended things to see and do while I’m in Buenos Aires requires me to scroll several times as I read my email. “Have a lot of fun and please love this city!”
I arrive at the show room and notice there are few shoes on display. “May I see a catalog?” No, no. It doesn’t exist. OK. I settle in on a plush sofa and let the shoe parade begin. I’m surrounded by boxes within minutes. “Leni, the only problem is if other customers come in…” I pull my boxes closer to me to take up less space, but I see what is happening: The other customers are eyeing my selection of shoes. I sit up a little straighter and get organized.
I’m here to make the first purchase of Comme il Faut shoes for Chicago Dance Supply. I’m forced to make the difficult choices: closed or open back? Sandal or peep-toe? 7.5 or 9cm? Suede or leather? Decisions, decisions…
Three hours later: I’ve managed to have several lovely conversations with the sales ladies and the other shoppers about shoes, tango and Buenos Aires. But I’ve only chosen 2/3 of my stock. “Come back,” says the sales girl. “We get new shipments every week.”
Our shipment of Comme il Faut women’s Argentine tango shoes is on the way. Check out some videos about Comme il Faut here . Stop by and visit us soon! –Leni
Raquel’s list of things to see and do in Buenos Aires:
There is a guide online called guiaoleo.com
Danzón: Libertad 1161. Tel. 4811 1108. Food is great, also sushi. Fantastic wine bar.
Sanbenito: Federico Lacroze 2136. Tel 4771-1859. It`s new. Very good and trendy.
Sucre: Sucre 676. Tel: 4782-9082. Same owner as Danzón. Nice for dinner. Food is great.
Olsen: Gorriti 5870. Tel. 4776 7677. Scandinavian food. Very nice place. Ask for a table at the terrace, if it’s not a very could day or at the window. Best place for vodka.
Sirop: Vicente Lopez 1661 apt. 12. Tel. 4813 5900. French food. There are two Sirop in the same courtyard, Sirop and Sirop Folie. Try to go to Sirop for dinner and Sirop Folie for lunch or tea.
Osaka: Soler 5608. Tel. 4775 6964. Food fusion Peru-Japan. Interesting and nice. Difficult to get a table. If you do not mind is fun to have dinner at the bar.
Sifones & Dragones: Ciudad de la Paz 174. Tel. 15 4413 9871. It is a lovely simple place. Not fancy at all. Very good food and charming. Like a kitchen with 5 tables. Try to wear your worst clothes because you will smell as the kitchen after dinner. But it worth it.
Green Bamboo: Costa Rica 5802. Tel. 4775 7050. Vietnam food or kind of. Good drinks. Ask for a table at the palms room, it is more private, less noisy and nice. The duck is good.
Tegui: Costa Rica 5852. Tel: 5291-3333. You just have to go there. Food fantastic. Super nice place.
Il Materello: Martin Rodriguez 517. Tel: 4307 0529. Best Italian place. I know about Italian food, so believe me. Is located in La Bocaneighborhood. Don’t walk around outside the touristic areas, just go by taxi and ask a taxi to leave.
Café San Juan: San Juan, Av. 450 – Tel: 4300-1112. Horrible place, fantastic food. Try to make a reservation to go for lunch on Sunday, after San Telmo antiques market, its close.
San Telmo market, it’s only on Sundays. You should arrive to Plaza Dorrego (Humberto Primo and Defensa St) around 10.30 or 11, and walk around… I love it.
For meat (you have to have meat at least once), the best meat restaurants (we call them Parrillas) are:
HAPPENING: Av. Rafael Obligado entre La Pampa y R. Obligado. Tel: 4782-8207
EL MIRASOL: Posadas 1032. Tel: 4326-7322/23
LA BRIGADA: Estados Unidos 465. Tel: 4361-5557 (San Telmo area, also good for lunch if you go to San Telmo market)
Hotel Faena, at Puerto Madero area, is very trendy, a Philippe Stark Hotel. The decoration is kind of The Costes Hotel in Paris. It has two restaurants; the better one is not the best. If you go for dinner, go to El Mercado restaurant. It’s also nice for a drink at the pool or at the Lounge. Martha Salotti 445 – Tel: 4010-9200.
Go for a drink (before or after dinner) at the terrace of Palacio Duhau Park Hyatt Hotel. It is beautiful: Alvear Avenue and Montevideo st. You can also go for lunch at the Italian restaurant.
Alvear Palace Hotel, it’s the nicest Hotel in town. It’s nice to go there for tea. On Alvear Av and Ayacucho St., the chef is French, so they have great patisserie.
Our national sweet is dulce de leche, it’s the sweetest thing you will ever try in your life, so any dessert with dulce de leche is a must at least once.
Buenos Aires has the best ice creams in the world (better than Italy, I promise). You have to go for an ice cream. The best ones, in my own order:
Persicco: Salguero and Cabello st. Try chocolate amargo (dark chocolate), dulce de leche, mandarina, or mascarponne… or any other will be great also.
Volta: Libertador Av. and Lafinur st. Try mango, banana split, chocolate volta, or any other. (By the way, you have to know that Libertador Ave is the nicest avenue in the world, even nicer than Champs Elysees, you will see).
Freddo: the oldest, is everywhere, and any flavour is very good.
Visit the MALBA Museum (Museum of Latin American Art), it is very nice, and you can have a great lunch at the restaurant of the museum. (Figueroa Alcorta and Salguero).
Just around the corner from MALBA there is the Paseo Alcorta shopping mall. There you should visit these shops:
JAZMIN CHEBAR, our own Marc Jacobs, exaggerating a little.
PAULA CAHEN D´ANVERS, our modest version of Ralph Lauren (still exaggerating, you have to know that every Argentinean is like twice an Italian, so we kind of exaggerate everything)
PETER KENT (best leather bags)
On Palermo Soho neighborhood there is a nice shopping area, kind of old Soho or Nolita. Just walk around beginning on Honduras andArmenia St. Do not leave without going to CORA GROPPO (nice coats and pants) on Armenia and El Salvador St. And JUANA DE ARCO, on El Salvador St., it’s a fun store.
Museo Fortabat www.coleccionfortabat.org.ar, at Puerto Madero, is very interesting, and the restaurant there is good.
You should visit Museo de Bellas Artes on Libertador Ave and Pueyrredón.
About art galleries, when you go to San Telmo, go to Zavaleta Lab (Venezuela 567; 54-11-4342-9293; zavaletalab.com), among the other art galleries this is one of my favorites. Maybe there is still an exhibition of artist León Ferrari — winner of the Golden Lion at the 2007 Venice Biennale.
Other interesting art galleries are
Dabbah Torrejón: www.dabbahtorrejon.com.ar
Isabel Anchorena: www.galeriaisabelanchorena.sion.com
Mundo nuevo: www.fundacionmundonuevo.org.ar
Coffee will be good everywhere, we have a tradition of coffee shops. The oldest (worth a visit) is Cafe Tortoni, Av de Mayo 825. The waiters will mistreat you but the place is very nice. Also Confiteria Ideal, is very decadent now, but old style and nice. If you go upstairs you may see people dancing tango. Every tango movie has a scene in there. 384 Suipacha St.