One has to have been at La Tablita in order to say they know El Calafate. This restaurant treasures the best dishes in the region.
Turned into a real tourist attraction years ago, just like the Perito Moreno Glacier or estancia Cristina, La Tablita is one of those sites that represent a turning point in life.
Located at 28, Rosales Street, this beautiful restaurant is the most traditional in the City of Calafate. The flavors, the sensations, good eating and the relaxed encounter with friends have already become a classic.
Led by Gonzalo Aguilar and Diego Perez, the visionary owners of this magical place, behind La Tablita there is a group of people who feel happy doing what they do. The tasks at a restaurant are varied and here they are fulfilled naturally: taking reservations, preparing the details of each table, assisting each customer on the proper combination of a dish and a wine, and much more.
A real tourist attraction
The best Patagonian lamb in the world
Very pleasant environment
Preparing the details of each table
A Gastronomic Novel
La Tablita was opened in 1968 and has existed for over four decades. “Unique in its species” is the description given by those who have already visited it. Besides, the locals know that in order to eat here, they have to make a reservation.
It is known that it is rude to stare at other tables at a restaurant, but it is impossible not to at this venue. Customers just need to look up and start enjoying colors, aromas, sensations and the smiles of everyone around when the longed for dishes get to their tables.
The Perfect Starter at La Tablita
The menu contains a wide range of starters. Raw ham accompanied by some empanada filled with meat or cheese and a glass of wine is the ideal option to start the meal.
The unbeatable aroma of bife de chorizo invaded a tray heading for “the background”, as the new space created to increase the capacity of the venue without losing the coziness and the customized service is known.
Light and decoration deserve a special mention. Lamps, walls, windows, wood, curtains and pictures are part of a kind of harmony that invites customers to stay longer and keep chatting.
The Best Patagonian Lamb in the World
This was the first steak restaurant in El Calafate. Manuel Ruiz Villegas joined the team in 1973 and so did his colleague Julio Almonacid in 1982. Today, they both continue as the best-known and most important parrilleros in the city, zealously keeping several secrets.
The specialty is Patagonian lamb, cooked and served like nowhere else in the world. No wonder hundreds of fans have invented a trip or an excuse to return to La Tablita.
Witnessing how this Patagonian delight is slowly roasted under the surveillance of the cooks is possible at one specially conditioned corner.
Other beef cuts are served in addition to lamb, such as tenderloin, steaks, bottom sirloin and offal. They may be combined with exquisite Provolone grilled cheese with oregano or the special version named La Tablita, a real pleasure to enjoy with good wine. Trout and salmon are also serverd with cuisine and traditional sauces, just like what happens with pasta.
An exclusive and varied winery is another good point at the venue. Over 170 labels of the best wines give evidence of the wide range of worldwide known Argentinian wineries based in the Provinces of Mendoza, Río Negro, Neuquén and Salta.
Opening the Gates of Heaven: Desserts
In perfect English, a Norwegian couple commented on the matchless taste of the “exquisite chocolate marquise”, one of the many delicacies in the menu. Meanwhile, the lady had a bite of the irresistible pancake filled with dulce de leche (milk jam): a very Argentinian dessert.
The recommendations came from the waiter. In a matter of seconds, he triggered out a real dilemma at our table: fresh fruit and calafate ice-cream, berry soup and ice-cream or homemade calafate mousse. “Three options to try typical regional ingredients”, he said to complicate our choice even more. Witout hesitation, the three of us accepted the three desserts. There are no words to describe them
The delicious coffee followed and completed this excellent gastronomic novel we experienced at La Tablita, where customers become real gastronomic readers: introduction, climax and ending are manifested in the most perfect tastes one can ever imagine.
We were on our way out when one of the owners told a couple: “No customers enter our venue, only friends do”. Today, over a million people scattered all round the world have something in common: they all are friends with La Tablita.
Pablo Etchevers Gentileza La-tablita.com.ar
Contact of the excursion or tour
Cnel. Rosales 28 (9405) El Calafate, Santa Cruz
Tel: +54 2902-491065
See more points of interest in El Calafate