Profiled by de Groots Media
Norberto Spagnolo’s name is synonymous with Argentinian dining in this city. So much so, in 2012 he was inducted into Restaurant and Catering SA’s Hall of Fame for individuals. After opening Gaucho’s, Australia’s first Argentinian restaurant in early ‘80s Adelaide, his band of loyal, fabulous food followers join him now, decades on, at his namesake eatery. It is not cheap, but a reflection of Norberto’s refusal to use anything but the best and freshest produce and ingredients.
Your credit card may groan at your meal’s end, but so too will your table under the weight of the “parrillada mixta”, a meat grill for two with lamb, pork, chicken, skewers, kidneys, chef’s gourmet black pudding and spicy Argentinian sausage served sizzling to your table on a charcoal grill – or the “chuleton alpino”, a whopping 1kg, marbled and aged t bone of the finest standard. Phew. Not all steaks are Flinstone-sized however - they are all aged for at least three weeks on site though - and there is a sexy little “salsa” section with sauces such as green peppercorns with glazed onions, truffle oil, saffron, Szechuan pepper, brandy and cream. Put it on the tab.
Seafood is a must. A market-priced selection of the best swims in Norberto’s “paella Del Ray”. Expect the likes of crabs, cockles, prawns, calamari, octopus or fish among this Provencal mix with chorizo, chicken, garlic, saffron, fish stock, rice and more. Juicy baked lamb chops are basted with chef’s port, masala and honey glaze; while he flaunts his Calvados-flambéed duck baked in house-made fruit stock as the “best in town”. In some humble opinions, this menu is one of the best in town. Consider it over a dessert of “figs Buenos Aires”, walnut-stuffed Turkish beauties marinated in Nocello and rum, served with Baileys and scorched almond ice cream.