For decades, travel and fashion writers have long dubbed sophisticated and stylish Buenos Aires as “The Paris of South America” for its broad avenues, au courant garment district, provocative evenings of tangoing until morning, strolls past plazas lining the Rio de la Plata, and lazy afternoon polo matches. A city as soulful and cosmopolitan as Buenos Aires has an extraordinary platter of zesty culinary flavors.
Luckily, these flavors are not strictly confined to the Southern Hemisphere. Buenos Aires Fusion in downtown Aspen transplants the epicurean delights of the Argentine capital to the Western Slope. Argentine cuisine is celebrated for a menu driven by high protein gaucho favorites like asado barbecued steaks, fried sausages, slow grilled ribs, sweetbreads, and empanada sandwiches. At Buenos Aires Fusion, many of these traditional carnivorous entrees are served with a European continental twist.
Located in the former premises of southwestern eatery Blue Maize, Buenos Aires Fusion is a smart casual lunch and dinner restaurant catering mainly to the active post-ski crowd. Power lunchers will enjoy the far-reaching menu of empanadas and sandwiches, like the lomito, a beef tenderloin steak sandwich smothered with Swiss cheese, ham, grilled onions, and fried egg. A calorific sandwich with grilled Argentine sausage, lettuce, tomato, and roasted red peppers is a spicy and sumptuous glee for those taking a midday break from the mountain. Large salads topped with Ahi tuna, steak, and authentic Argentine chimichurri sauces are available for lighter lunch fare.
In the evenings, diners can begin with tapas like bacon-wrapped figs in barbecue sauce and prosciutto with hearts of palm are excellent appetizers. Mouthwatering meats like juicy skirt steak, flat iron, or rib eyes are available with accents of spiced Argentine flavor. Couples seeking a sampling of Argentine delights should opt for the Parrillada Argentina, a hearty mixed platter of grilled chorizo (pork sausage), sweetbreads, blood sausage, chinchulín (chitterlings), beef ribs, skirt steak, and inner flank steak. If you’re just looking for an evening snack, an annotated bar menu is available in the evenings for smaller portions.
Speaking of the bar, Buenos Aires blends up a variety of mojitos and caipirinhas made from fresh imported Brazilian cacacha. Buenos Aires Fusion is one places in Aspen where you can get the spicy botanical Fernet and Coca-Cola, the official cocktail of Argentina. Swing by during happy hour between 5:30 and 7:30 for a great bargain. For eight dollars, guests receive two empanadas plus a glass of wine or beer. The house wine list is reasonably heavy on the reds and features select vinos from Argentina and Chile. Dessert at the Buenos Aires is an absolute must. Offerings include the delicious Argentine sweet tooth mainstays: Flan con dulce de leche, Catalonian crème brulée, and arroz con leche frito, a sugary fried rice pudding.
Since it is Aspen, delicious international food doesn’t come cheap. The average entrée is between 25 and 50 dollars, plus cocktails, wine, and dessert. Nonetheless, it is cheaper than a plane ticket to the actual city of Buenos Aires, so you might as well savor Southern Hemisphere flavors in the heart of the Rockies.
Buenos Aires Fusion
308 South Hunter Street
Aspen, CO 81611