El Manto

Buenos Aires, Palermo Hollywood

  • Ambience 85%
  • Service 85%
  • Food 85%
  • Creativity 90%
  • Value 85%

Restaurant Details
Restaurant Details
El Manto
Locale: Buenos Aires, Palermo Hollywood
Address: Costa Rica 5801
Telephone: +54 11 4774-2409
Restaurant Type: Upscale Casual
Cuisine: Armenian, Middle Eastern
Service Type: Table Service
Price: $$$
Menu items offered: Braised Meat Dishes, Carpaccios - Tartares, Coffee, Desserts, Espresso, Roasted Meat Dishes, Salads, Seafood
Sun-Sat: 8pm to 1am, ,

Review Summary
El Manto serves classic middle-eastern cuisine in an upscale setting. Good service and excellent execution of interesting menu. Classy. Dimly lit. Excellent venue for a romantic evening out.

The full review for El Manto

Review by: Ollie O Rating: 4.3 stars Review Date: 05/05/2015

El Manto is an Armenian restaurant located in the heart of Palermo Hollywood. There’s a sizeable Armenian immigrant population in Bueno Aires and as result there are another dozen or so restaurants serving Armenian or a similar middle-eastern cuisine in Buenos Aires.

El Manto is very dimly lit and nicely decorated for this type of restaurant which can often have décor that is a little gaudy, and overstated, which would be customary for a restaurant in that region of the world. Yet the tables seemed sufficiently lit from overhead spots to make reading the menu easy enough. I remember thinking that this would be an excellent addition to annual article on romantic dining spots.

I wanted to sample the cold appetizers, so I ordered the Mezze, a combination plate with a variety of the most common cold appetizers, including including hummus, baba ganoush, tabbouleh, a vegetarian meatball (kefte), a stuffed eggplant (imán bayndi), tiny stuffed grape leaves (sarma) and a crudo preparation of ground lamb (chy kefte). It indicated it was for two but there was no half order. The waitress warned that the chy kefte was a raw (crudo) version of the meatball but being a gastronomical adventurer I threw all caution to the wind and said, “Bring it on”.

What arrived in a just a few minutes was a large assortment of cold appetizers. Honestly, probably a little too much for two people. I started sampling, bit by bit, each item. The hummus, baba ganoush, and the tabbouleh, were all excellent. Hummus can be a bit boring as the garbanzo beans don’t bring a lot of flavor to the dish. I have no clue what spices or acidic ingredients (vinegar or citrus) were added to boost the flavor but it was delicious. The stuffed eggplant was also a home run. The vegetarian meatballs made from peas, were totally unique. Something I’ve never tried. Were it not for the crudo preparation of the lamb meatballs this would be the perfect vegetarian meal.

I ventured into the lamb crudo meatballs. In small portions, mixed with the onion and pepper chutney provided alongside, it was actually quite appetizing. Probably not something that most Argentines, who even eat their steaks burnt to a crisp, would likely enjoy, unless, of course, they are from immigrant families from that part of the world.

There was no way I could finish the entire plate. And ordering a main plate on this outing was out of the question. So I asked them to package up what was left. I’m going back very soon to trying out a few of the entrees and I’ll update this review after that outing. In the meantime, we’re going to rate the restaurant on what we ordered and tasted. Which was very good.

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