Centro BSAS . Buenos Aires
- Ambience 70%
- Service 90%
- Food (Execution) 90%
- Creativity 70%
- Value 70%
Address: Carlos Pellegrini 521
Restaurant Type: Formal Dining
Hours: Sun-Sat 7 pm to 12:30 am[/types] [/types] [/types]
Summary of Review
Restaurant Review for Tomo I
Rating: 4.0 stars
Tomo I has received high marks on consumer review sites, which based on my experience carries little weight. So I ventured into this evening with my typical skepticism.
Tomo I is located adjacent to the Panamerico Hotel. I entered the restaurant through the private entrance. I was greeted by a young man who placed me in the world’s slowest elevator. I think it probably took 45 seconds to make it up to the next floor where the restaurant was located. A minor transgression that I’ll overlook. At least I didn’t have to take the stairs.
On entering the restaurant I was greeted and shown to the dining room. There is zero decoration save the padded walls, covered in a mauve colored fabric. It had a very 1980’s feel to it. At least the padded walls were a neutral color. Better than lime green with shag carpeting, I suppose.
I’d say the average age of the patron in this place was about 60 years old. Were it not for Sammy, a 7 year old sitting at the table next to me, that average would have been closer to 65. The table setting was elegant, with high quality table linens, silverware and glassware.
The waiters were all older men clad in black slacks, black vests and starched white shirts. Very professional. Everything about the service was first-rate. It would have been nice to see a smile from one of the waiters or a little laugh from one of the patrons. But instead it was eerily quiet with some saxophone jazz meandering through the atmosphere faintly in the background.
The table setting and décor was reminiscent of La Pecora Nera, which was the closest I’d come to seeing haute-cuisine in Buenos Aires until this night.
The evening started with a basket of bread and a pat of butter being promptly dispatched to the table after I ordered. Nothing ground breaking. Just some nut bread and small little dinner rolls. This was promptly followed by an amuse bouche. A spoonful or two of a fresh and slightly chilled soup.
I had ordered the cream of fennel root and dill soup. It was silky smooth and just brimming in the licorice-like flavor of the fennel root with aromatic little touches of dill. It was served with a wafer thin slice of a sweet, nutty biscotti that was the perfect foil for the slightly salty soup. This is a crew in the kitchen that knows their stuff.
Would the main course be up to snuff? I ordered the tira de asado which is a braised veal short rib. It was fall-apart tender with some pieces being slightly firmer than others. It was delectable. And every bit of fat was buttery and edible. It was glazed in a Malbec wine reduction that was rich and elegant in taste and consistency. The accompaniment was green peas and threads of carrot. I would have hoped for something a little more exciting to accompany this otherwise outstanding dish but the execution was good nevertheless.
I requested the trio of crème brûlée for dessert. One with a coffee flavored custard, one with the flavor of dulce de leche and the third one a more classic vanilla variation. The most unique thing about this dessert is that it was extraordinarily short on sugar. I tend to enjoy an occasional dessert that is not overly sweet and this one was quite unique in that respect. The coffee and caramel versions were almost savory with the contrast of that charred little bit of sugar on top.
Despite the somewhat boring ambiance of this place the execution of the meal and the service were spot on. Not a single lapse in execution. And I note that as I was leaving, the dining room was almost full and the quite chatter of the crowd created a somewhat better vibe than the somber ambiance I had experienced throughout most of my meal. For traditional fine dining you can now add one more to the list previously solely occupied by La Pecora Nera in our reviews.
I note that this was the most expensive restaurant of any we’ve visited in Buenos Aires. Appetizers average about US$15 to $18 and main course items were in a range from US$22 to $32, almost twice what you’d expect to pay at most restaurants in Buenos Aires. The tasting menu was a whopping $1,100 pesos. That said, the quality of the meal would make Tomo I one of the few restaurants I’d be willing to visit for a multi-course meal.
Tomo IAddress: Neighborhood: