After a substantial refit, turning the cigar bar into a far more palatable Champagne bar (Buenos Aires Herald, February 15, 2015), the Alvear Palace has now turned its hand to giving La Bourgogne a facelift.
While the restaurant remains in the extremely capable hands of French chef Jean Paul Bondoux – who these days is assisted by son Aurelien and daughter Amandine – as it has been for the past 22 years, La Bourgogne has been spruced up and restored to former glory.
Ditching the dingy carpet, the beautiful white and grey marble floor, dating back to 1932, is now fully exposed and polished to within an inch of its life, brightening up the space no end.
Jean Paul’s rotisserie has also been shown substantial love to become a focal point of the restaurant, as opposed to somewhere sooty and sweaty where meat is singed.
Of course, the menu is what really speaks for La Bourgogne, which naturally focuses on French fare. Starters highlight a substantial number of seafood dishes, including warmed oysters in vichyssoise (270 pesos), red tuna mosaic (360 pesos), grilled octopus with fennel and black garlic emulsion (also 360 pesos) and frog’s legs sautéed with parsley and garlic backed up by broccoli puré and watercress with Dijon mustard (460 pesos). Big spenders should go enormous with 50 grams of Osciètre caviar from Uruguay (5,200 pesos).
I thoroughly enjoyed the Peking duck cooked two ways with a spicy orange juice (480 pesos) as a main. The confit cooking method crunched up the skin, giving it a delicate sweet flavour, and the meat itself was pink and tender; the orange salsa wasn’t particularly obtrusive, though. Meetings with duck are far and between in this city, however, and this was a luxurious dish that’s worth splashing out on should you have the urge — and the cash.
Ayacucho 2023, Recoleta
Buenos Aires Herald, April 26, 2015