We just got back from a long week in BsAs, and it was great. In general, foodwise, I was truly amazed at the quality of the food on offer, and flabbergasted by the prices. We focused heavily on steak and Italian food, and were less interested in trying BsAs's many more "nouveau" offerings, though I hear that the city has plenty to offer in that area as well. That said, some specific places I would recommend include:
El Trapiche: This restaurant is located in the trendy Palermo Viejo neighborhood, but there's nothing trendy about it. I thought it might have been the best meal we had, which is saying something. It is very traditional and was very full even early in the lunch hour. I had my usual 1/2 portion of grilled sweetbreads and a bife de chorizo, both of which were fabulous. (My only "beef", as it were, was that even a half order of sweetbreads was far more than I could have eaten, even if I had planned to split them with my husband and son. As it was, we all ate plenty, but we couldn't finish them.) We also had a very good arugula salad. My husband had chrizo and steak, my toddler had gnocchi, fruit salad, AND flan. We had two bottles of water, a bottle of very good wine... the whole bill (including tip) was $72AR. Crazy. I highly recommend this place. Paraguay 5099, Buenos Aires, Argentina Phone: 11-4772-7343
El Obrero: Many guide books mention this place, and they are right to. It's located in a seriously blue collar dockside area, which was somewhat intimidating. The cab driver wanted to turn back because we couldn't find it right away. I am very glad we did find it, though. The meal we ate was very similar in composition and quality to what I described above, except that it came in at an even more astonishing $54AR. Instead of a steak, I had the veal milanesa, which was phenomenal. Covered with the ubiquitous arugula salad, it was the equal of the last milanesa I had in Milan. El Obrero is quite atmospheric. It is owned by a former coach of the Boca Juniors, and it's covered with Boca memorabilia. The waitstaff are really pleasant and they went out of their way to faciliate our lunch with a toddler. There were all sorts of people there, from clearly well-to-do business men to tourists like us to old guys nursing aguardiente. I would probably recommend this place to anyone as the most atmospheric and "authentic" place we visited. Augustín R. Caffarena 64, Buenos Aires, Argentina Phone: 11-4363-9912
Cabana Las Lilas: Everything you're heard is true-- it probably is the best steak house in the world. It is markedly more expensive than other steak places, but it's worth it for the meat alone, and the cost is still nothing compared to a Smith and Wollensky or Peter Lugers. The extra money also buys your some very tasty complementary appetizers. Go, eat the lomo, and enjoy. Av. Alicia Moreau de Justo 516, Buenos Aires, Argentina Phone: 11-4313-1336
Il Matterelo: This is an Italian restaurant in La Boca. I thought it was great. My husband and I both had fresh pasta followed by meat dishes. I had a steak that was very veal-like in flavor and texturedifferent and delicious. My husband had a milanesa. We had all the usual accompaniments and extras, and paid ridiculously little. I cant find the address at the moment, but I do recommend the place.
I am running out of steam, but I also recommend La Brigada, Parrillon de Recoleta, a place in Montevideo called Parilla Abasto, Parilla El Mirador, and a Spanish place called Miramar. I didnt have a bad meal in BsAs, and the only restaurants I dont whole heartedly recommend are Las Nazarenas (I think I just ordered wrong) and Ligure (off night?) Feel free to email me with questions.