By Linda Bladholm
New San Telmo‘s charming owners, Mario and Laura Szwarc, bought the restaurant from a fellow Argentine two
years ago, re-did the design and menu and hired Jose Luis Aguilar as chef.
Mario’s Russian grandmother emigrated to Uruguay after World War II, and Mario was born in neighboring Argentina, as was Laura. The couple met when Mario needed a model for the women’s clothing he was making at the time. The restaurant business seemed a better bet after they relocated to South Florida six years ago with their three children.
Argentina’s food is an amalgam of many cultures, with its one true cuisine the parrillada, or mixed grill. Find this and more at New San Telmo, named for a neighborhood in Buenos Aries famous for tango and antique shops.
The restaurant is an Argentine hangout, but any carnivore will feel at home here, and non-meat eaters will be pleased with the wide selection of vegetables, salads and pastas.
Start the meat fiesta with grilled chorizo, sweetbreads, crispy chinchulines (small intestine) or morcilla (blood sausage). Other typical starters are campfire mozzarella (fried on the grill) and Russian potato salad.
Meat is the main event for Argentines, simply sprinkled in salt, grilled over wood charcoal and served with chimichurri sauce. Cuts to try here are tira de asado (thin-cut short ribs), vacio (similar to flank), entrana (rich-flavored outer skirt steak) and bife de chorizo (unrelated to the sausage, this is thick sirloin strip steak). There are also mixed grills — samplers of most of the above — for one or two people.
16850 Collins Ave., Sunny Isles; 305-957-0006; noon-11 p.m. daily; until midnight Saturday; appetizers $2.49-$9.95, pasta $9.95-$18.95, entrees $15.95-$23.95.