Clos

 

Bite into global eats in the heart of Downtown

clos

Madeline Marr

Why do baguettes make a sandwich so much more fulfilling? Oh, right. The crispy crust; the soft, doughy middle; the fun, oblong shape. New bistro/cafe Clos apparently concurs. They offer sandwiches for almost every taste, with offerings from around the globe. The accent is on Argentina, where the owners are from.

Get experimental with such house specialties as the choripan - short for "chorizo on bread" - or for manlier appetites, the matambre, a lusty, vegetable-stuffed slice of beef loaded with chimichurri sauce. Finish this off, and you won't eat until breakfast the next day. Tamer tongues will appreciate that Clos also piles on more traditional luncheon meats like Genoa salami and freshly sliced turkey. Then again, sometimes just a plain, beautifully aged cheese like Spain's Manchego hits the spot.

If you prefer a hot meal, meat specials change by day - chicken in mushroom sauce, meatloaf, short ribs and veal milanesa (a thin cutlet dipped in eggs and breadcrumbs, seasoned and shallow fried). Each entrée comes with a side of rice, mashed potatoes or a green salad. A daily pasta special is on the menu as well - ravioli or penne. Grilled fish (tilapia, salmon) is another option for weight watchers.

While you wait for your food, mill around the modern, airy space with windows overlooking bustling downtown or ogle at the vast wine selection. Named after the Spanish word for a closed vineyard, Clos also two-times as a wine bar even though it's only open unti 6:30 p.m. most evenings (for now). Malbecs, the hot Argentine import, are king here. The varietal pairs well with tapas like tortilla española (a thick slice of potato and onion omelets) or a few baked-in-house empanadas, from tuna, ham and cheese and Angus beef (recommended) to creamy corn and caprese, with mozzarella and tomatoes. Don't overlook your sweet tooth with this array of worldly desserts. Glistening croissants beckon on trays in the display window as do the national favorite, alfajores, circular, caramel filled wafers sprinkled with sugar. They're like vanilla Oreos, only fatter and cuter.
Everything is boxed up to go in attractive brown cardboard containers that make you look like you just stepped out of a well heeled bakery. Tip: This is a lunch place, so don't order much later than 3 and think you can heat up your meal later in the microwave; much of the food (i.e. the hot plates) doesn't hold up.

Clos does a bustling breakfast business, they say. Pop in for some rocket-fuel espresso and toasted miga (aka tea) sandwiches - crustless white bread, egg and cheese. Eating these briefly transport you to Buenos Aires.

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