Maria Antonieta, Mendoza, Argentina.

October 2018.

Recommended by our winery guide, this lovely little place unassumingly presents a perfect light lunch in the downtown Mendoza barrio of Santa Maria. It’s outdoor scene is set on a wide sidewalk under South American springtime oak-like trees with tidy black-checked tablecloths and red-cushioned seats. It’s located on a busy street between a pretentious hotel and a bakery that looks better than average by Argentina standards (which isn’t saying much). Passers-by are urbane Argentinians and tourists.


The menu features vegetable dishes but wouldn’t be Argentinian if there weren’t steak and other meats, including’s succulent-sounding sandwiches. We shared the burrata and prosciutto salad with pear. This was a moderate-quantity salad with a parsley-sprinkled burrata and nice prosciutto, and an over-poached but tasty pear with lettuce and tiny-tomato sliced. The dressing was wonderfully demure, apparently just good vinegar with not much oil, a wee bit of salt and pepper, and no mustard. Simple and delicious, but we were hungry.


This lunch was meant to tide us over to a big dinner the reservation for which we couldn’t make until 10 PM by which time we would both typically be fast asleep, so we wanted to keep things at a caloric dull roar: the second course was shared roast salmon. Will have to do some research to see what they serve here but I guess from its oiliness and colour it’s a farmed Atlantic salmon. It is beautifully cooked, rare in the centre, skin fully edible, tomatoes, lettuce, and a balanced tartar sauce chiming in.

We drank a Mendoza viognier, 600 pesos (about C$20) which was fragrant and balanced.

Great light lunch for about C$50. Food 8.8, ambience 9.1, service 9.2, value 9.6, peace and quiet 8.5 (just the natural noises of the busy street).

About John Sloan

John Sloan is a senior academic physician in the Department of Family Practice at the University of British Columbia, and has spent most of his 40 years' practice caring for the frail elderly in Vancouver. He is the author of "A Bitter Pill: How the Medical System is Failing the Elderly", published in 2009 by Greystone Books. His innovative primary care practice for the frail elderly has been adopted by Vancouver Coastal Health and is expanding. Dr. Sloan lectures throughout North America on care of the elderly.
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