Cumaná is down-to-earth, very affordable, and offers a great variety of real Argentinean food, despite being situated in swanky Recoleta. This restaurant allows visitors to see that there’s more to authentic Argentinean food than imports from Italy such as pizza and pasta, red meat cut in a lot of different ways and the often bland tortillas, tartas and milanesas found in dining establishments across the city.
Traditional provincial food is bursting with flavor and variety, but it is more often found in private homes than the city’s restaurants.
Cumaná serves up a myriad of traditional dishes in a rustic atmosphere. Examples include locros and guisos (vegetable and meaty stews) for cold winter days, big roasted potatoes stuffed with cheese and various other fillings, stir fried rice with mushrooms, and a wide selection of country-style empanadas. There are also salads and the obligatory pizzas, both of which aren’t up to the standards of the rest of the menu, so stick to the specialties.
Tables are very close together here, which can be boisterous and fun, or noisy and disconcerting, depending on your mood. They are covered with butcher paper tablecloths and come with a basket full of colorful crayons to play with, which is great for those with kids in tow. Diners are a mix of young Argentine couples, groups of university students, and tourists of all ages.
Be aware of your possessions — in all the bustle it’s easy for someone to snatch a phone off a table or a wallet from a jacket pocket. And as is the case with most restaurants that offer really good value, expect a long wait for a table if you arrive any time after 8:30 p.m.
— Dan Colasimone
Rodriguez Peña 1149 (Corner of Santa Fe)
• Credit Cards accepted
• Hours: 12:00 p.m. until approx. 1:00 a.m.