After a short layover in San Pedro de Tucumán it was finally time for Beautiful Booze to visit Mendoza, the wine capitol of Argentina. We were not excited about the 14 hour bus ride however when we got on the bus and were greeted by a glass of bubbles we settled in for the ride and before we knew it we were disembarking and making our way to our hotel in downtown Mendoza.
We happen to arrive on one of the hottest days so far, so although we wanted to explore the area we opted to simply relax in our suite at the Park Hyatt Hotel and let the sun go down a little first. We pumped the air conditioning and vegged out for a little while until it was time for lunch and although the weather was not improving greatly we decided to bite the bullet, put on our coolest clothing and make our way to lunch.
Azafran Restaurant came highly recommended and was only 2 short blocks away from our hotel so we made quick work of the walk and before too long we were in a lovely restaurant with a glass of wine in hand. The menu items all looked amazing, however for lunch here they offer a 3-course tasting menu with accompanying wine for a very good price so we decided that was the way to go. We shared the quiche and goats cheese empanada appetizers but when the main courses arrived there was no sharing going on.
Natalie chose the mushroom linguini and I finally got the Argentinean steak I have been craving and both dishes were wonderfully cooked. With very little space left in our stomachs we still had the best course to come. My panna cotta with dulce de leche was so rich I don’t know how I finished the dish but it was just so damn delectable I just couldn’t stop eating it. With our meals completed we washed everything down with an espresso, stumbled back out into the hot day and made our way back to the Park Hyatt to lay back in a food coma.
A few hours later we had recovered sufficiently and the sun was starting to set so we ventured out to explore the nearby streets. On the other side of Plaza Independencia there is a pedestrian street packed with stores and restaurants so we took our time checking out the menus and doing a little shopping but were still quite full from lunch so we kept exploring the esplanade of shops that expand for a mile in every direction for a few hours and then on the way back to the hotel we picked up some meat and cheese from a small local deli and called it a day.
The following morning we didn’t have much time before our bus to the next destination so we returned to the restaurant esplanade we explored the night before and grabbed a quick sandwich (nothing special unfortunately). With our appetites satisfied and an hour to spare we stopped at a cute little café and pushed out some emails while enjoying a cortado. Next stop was the Esplendor Hotel in the Maipú region where relaxed by the pool and enjoyed some wine tastings at nearby vineyards.