As one walks into Artango, the vision of both Maria and Sebastian has come to life. The artwork and the decor transport guests to a rustic Argentine setting. While the sunlight does add light to the space, Artango Bistro really shines as the sun sets for a more subdued and sultry setting. For this aspect alone, it makes for a great date night. However, my date for the evening was my Mother. She likes to be my permanent date for my blog food offerings. I can’t blame her, we’ve both had the opportunity to have some delicious food, and Artango Bistro was no exception.
To begin our evening, we started with samplings of Ceviche. For those of you unfamiliar with Ceviche, Ceviche is a seafood dish that consists of raw fish that is cured (cooked) in citrus. It is very popular in Central and South America which makes this dish a perfect fit for the Argentine themed restaurant. For the first serving of chef selected Ceviche, we were served the Mahi-Mahi with Passion Fruit vinaigrette. Then next they brought out the raw Tuna Ceviche served with a mango flavored sauce. While both dishes were completely devoured, the one that gets the prize is the Tuna Ceviche with mango sauce. The juice was so delicious, my mother and I contemplated how we were going to properly finish all of the juice in a dignified way. We decided that we were going to soak up the remainder of the juice with our chips. Of the Ceviche’s, this was the winner of the night.
As we are still testing out the appetizers, next up is the Empanadas. We were served 3 styles of Empanadas such as the beef, vegetarian, and ham & cheese. When they read the selections, I already knew that the ham & cheese would be my favorite because A. I love ham and B. cheese is the answer to everything. I hate to admit it, but I was secretly dreading the vegetarian selection since I can be like a petulant child when it comes to vegetables. What can I say, I’m a meat lover for life. However, I was proven incredibly wrong as the vegetable Empanada was the standout of the 3. It was well seasoned enough where the vegetables didn’t have that leafy or flavorless taste. When vegetables are prepared well, they can easily possess as much flavor as any meat. All 3 Empanada selections were wonderful it really depends on your preference. They each bring their own flavor and texture to the table which adds a little excitement to your appetizer.
By the way, after having consumed 5 types of appetizers, full would be an understatement to describe my feelings at this point. But alas, the show must go on as it was now time for the main course. For the first main course, we were served a Sea Bass that set atop coconut rice. The rice was drizzled with a passionfruit like sauce. It tasted similar to the sauce from the Ceviche I loved which was quite a treat. It is equally delicious and I’m so glad these fruit flavored sauces were present in the meal. Seasoning and sauces are very important when seasoning a dish and chef Isaak Reyes and his team have this down to a science. However while the seasoning helps fish centered dishes tremendously, I would add that if you aren’t the biggest fan of a fishy taste like you would get in sushi or non-fried dishes; then the bass may not be your first choice for a dish. My mom and I have differing opinions on fish as she prefers fried and baked whereas I prefer fish to have that barely cooked type feel. It is all a matter of preference, but I personally recommend trying out the Sea Bass.
This next dish I would like to call the grand finale dish because nothing could have prepared me for what was about to be served. The Artango team delivered a whopping 20oz steak. Served on a brown serving board, it appeared as if the entire animal was now sitting on the table. It was heavily garnished with varying vegetables that sat atop the meat. My mother and I just sat and stared at the meat for quite some time before we decided to cut off a slab. Now as a disclosure, I am not a steak fan. However, after the steak from Artango I can officially say I now love steak. I guess I’ve never had it prepared properly before as this steak was absolutely perfect. It wasn’t too chewy nor too hard, the texture was exactly how a steak should be. I’ve always been told that you have good steak when it doesn’t even need seasoning. In fact, some cultures find it quite offensive if you drizzle some A1 on their steak. While we couldn’t finish it all at the restaurant, when we took it home later we ate it cold and it was still equally delicious. So not only does it taste perfect without sauce, it was also great cold and warm. If you decide to splurge one night on steak, you will not be disappointed with Artango Bistro’s.
No meal is complete without dessert. I was busting at the seams, but I took one for the team. For dessert, I selected a raspberry flavored flan. I took a risk by ordering this dish since my last run-in with flan was not pleasant. During one of my Spanish classes in middle school, one of my classmates and her Mom had the well-intentioned idea of serving the class their famous flan. While it was a sweet gesture the flan was dreadful. It tasted like raw eggs with sugar poured over it. From that day, I vowed to never try flan again. Fast forward to now, and I’m glad I broke my vow for Artango Bistro. The flan was the perfect way to end the meal and while I was full I finished the entire dish. The texture was perfect and the flavor was the perfect amount of sweet. I also couldn’t taste any of the egg that was present. Chef Reyes shared with me that Vanilla flan’s tend to be lacking in flavor, so at Artango they like to play around with the different flavors. Every week you can expect a different flavor of flan.
If you aren’t too full from your meal, true to the “Tango” in the name, the Artango team has complimentary group tango lessons with your meal. It’s good to know Maria can still infuse her love of the dance in the restaurant.
Special thank you to Chef Isaak Reyes and the Artango team for our meal courtesy of Artango Bistro. My Mom is still talking about that meal by the way, so it’s safe to say Artango has gained a new fan.
For more information on Artango Bistro go to ArtangoBistro.com