Belgrano . Buenos Aires
- Ambience 80%
- Service 80%
- Food (Execution) 80%
- Creativity 80%
- Value 80%
Address: 3 de Febrero 1167
Telephone: +54 911 4899-2007
Restaurant Type: Upscale Casual
Cuisine: Argentine, Eclectic Gourmet
Hours: Mon - Sat 8pm to midnight[/types] Closed Sun[/types] [/types]
Summary of Review
Restaurant Review for Pura Tierra
Rating: 4.0 stars
What makes PuraTierra unique is Chef Martín Molteni’s use of a clay oven in the preparation of his regionally acquired proteins. Like so many restaurants we review, PuraTierra emphasizes unique, locally harvested fruits and vegetables, some only found in his native Argentina. But Chef Molteni doesn’t try to force a square peg into a round hole. He takes traditional cuts of meat and fish and surrounds them with an orchestra of local ingredients. The result is dish after dish of unique and delicious flavors.
And in a country where almost every restaurant offers nothing but meat cooked (and usually overcooked) on an open flame, finding a chef that showcases exactly how an oven should be utilized to properly cook certain cuts of meat is a welcomed revelation.
On the night I visited Pura Tierra, I arrived late in the evening on a Wednesday night. The dining room was about half full. Maybe slightly less. I was promptly greeted and seated. Offered a menu in either English or Spanish. The waiters were each able to answer any questions about the menu and as each dish was delivered I received a brief soliloquy about the ingredients in that particular dish.
A piano version of Girl from Ipanami was faintly heard in the background. The décor was on the one hand minimalist but with touches of old world charm like the wood paneled bar and the menu scribbled, chalk board style, on one of the walls. Lighting was appropriate. Dim but with overhead spots clearly illuminating each table.
For an appetizer I ordered the warm ceviche with locally acquired prawns, and other seafood each with a slightly different texture and firmness. The citrus in which the fish were prepared was not overly tart is often the case with ceviche. A winning first course.
For the main course I ordered a pork shoulder, roasted in the clay oven for several hours, then served with a treasure trove of accompaniments.
The honey glaze, the cumquat, pears, candied beets, and wild mushroom all brilliantly added a unique personality to each new bite of pork. I was thinking that the pork would have been slightly more tender had the chef lowered the temperature even further in his clay oven and allowed the meat to slowly cook for another hour or so. But as I finished with a slightly fatter portion of meat I realized that additional slow-roasting would not have added significantly to these last few bites, since the buttery, fatty portions of the pork provided a melt in your mouth enjoyment in those last few bites.
I finished the meal with a lemon curd topped with whipped cream, nectarines, berries, a crumble and vanilla ice cream. Although tasty, the dessert was my least favorite course. The curd was just slightly too tart for my personal liking and the fruit just didn’t have that luscious sweet, fresh taste that would have elevated this dessert. I was thinking, I should have ordered the pear and chestnut dish.
As the other tables finished their meals and left the restaurant I watched. It took slightly longer than it should have for the waiters to clear off the dishes that remained on the tables, but by the time I was asking for the check they had cleared those two tables although they had not been reset. This was the only small tarnish on an otherwise sterling service.
With Pura Tierra offering three courses, a mineral water, both an amuse-bouche and a complimentary aperitif (Cinzano and citrus) for within a few pesos of $500 (about USD$35) I felt the meal was an excellent value. If you’re traveling from downtown, Recoleta or even further, the cost of the taxi to Belgrano would be a consideration, but would still not make an evening out prohibitively expensive.
Pura Tierra justly deserves to hold a spot in the list of the top 10 restaurants to try in Buenos Aires.
Note: Pura Tierra recently relocated to the current address on 3 de Febrero. Images of the restaurant are from the prior location. The images will be updated in a subsequent post.
Pura Tierra - Belgrano
Pura Tierra… …