So, I don’t normally do restaurant reviews (should I start doing restaurant reviews? do people care about this kind of stuff?) but there was one meal that I had in Buenos Aires that was worth making an exception for.
Obviously, if you’re in Argentina, you’ve got to have a steak. There are dozens of famous steakhouses all vying for the title of “best steak in BA,” and Don Julio, the Argentine equivalent of NYC’s Peter Luger’s, is the widely agreed upon pick (La Carniceria, La Cabrera, and El Pobre Luis). But when I asked my local, foodie friend where he would go if he were only to try one steak in Argentina, and he sent me to “Proper.” It’s apparently only a year old, and is already on the list of the “50 Best Restaurants in Latin America.” Casual.
The restaurant only has 30 seats, and doesn’t take reservations. The only way to get a table is to show up at 7:55pm and be there when the doors open at 8 o’clock — according to my friend, it’s completely sold out by 8:15 and if you don’t make it in time you’re shit outta luck. My dinner companions and I showed up a few minutes before 8, and there was already a line outside. The doors are completely nondescript — there’s no sign indicating that there’s even a restaurant behind them — which more or less proves that it’s not the kind of place you would ever know about unless you knew about it (does that make sense?).
The decor is casual/cool, with one communal table in the center and a few smaller tables that look like upgraded picnic benches. There’s this enormous floral arrangement hanging from the ceiling inside of a truck tire, which I can honestly say is unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. The kitchen is also completely open, so you can watch the chefs kick culinary ass while waiting for your meal.
The menu is mostly small plates meant for sharing, with a few random entrées. For four people, they recommend ordering eight small plates and one entrée, or four small plates and four entrées. The famed ribeye isn’t on the menu (why do restaurants do this? does anyone know?), but thankfully we knew what to ask for. The steak comes in either 500 grams, 800 grams or 1 Kilogram. Obvi, we went for the latter.
We started out with the sourdough bread, which was actually really fking delicious for just plain old bread, and shishito peppers that were perfectly seasoned in salt and oil.
Then came the “Burnt Asparagus,” which was paired with tahini and dill and was shockingly delicious.
Next was the burrata, topped with charred kale. Obviously delicious, because, burrata.
AND FINALLY — THE STEAK.
I meannnnnnnnnnn, is that not the most insane food porn you’ve ever seen?!?!?! Here’s some more. Just in case.
And it tasted even better than it looked. The butter was just the right amount of garlic-y, and the meat was rare and delicious and salted to perfection. Honestly, it was borderline orgasmic.
The grand finale of the meal was the flan, which I had never tried before and was 10000% convinced that I would hate. BUT, it was actually one of my favorite desserts I’ve ever had. It was suuuuuper sweet and tasted like dulce de leche, and really just straight up delicious.
There was also a ton of wine, and I fell asleep dreaming of steak and garlic butter. Ten MILLION stars our of ten — when in Argentina, GO TO PROPER. And plz, take me with you.