Explore Argentina at Michael's On East

Good Bite

Pictured: Croquetas de Bacalao or Atlantic Cod Croquettes with Chimichurri Aioli and Roasted Red Pepper and Raisin Salad Photo Courtesy of Micheal's On East

Spend spring break in Argentina with the Micheal’s On East March epicurean adventure menu. Each month, the restaurant highlights a different region or country, and the March menu will offer guests a three-course menu with appetizers, entrees and desserts as well as wine pairings. The menu will feature flavors from across Argentina, from the vineyards of Mendoza to the city streets of Buenos Aires. Empanadas, steak and dulce de leche provide a great introduction to the country’s cuisine. “The menus take inspiration from our travels,” says co-proprietor Michael Klauber. As part of the Gulf Coast Connossiour Club, Michael and his wife Terri lead food tour groups across the world. “Several years ago, we visited Argentina and fell in love with it,” he adds.

The country’s vast landscape proved to be an exciting culinary playground. “We were particularly inspired by the wine country in Mendoza and the restaurants we visited in Buenos Aires,” he adds. Owning to Argentina’s strong wine industry, the menu puts the spotlight on several wines from vineyards visited by Klauber and his club. “I’m fortunate to have chef Jamil Pineda who is an amazing translator of the dishes and recipes that inspire us,” says Klauber. “Many times, we bring back ideas or a photograph of a dish or a menu description,” he adds, “and he will translate those into a menu which, almost every time, tastes exactly like what we had when we were there.”

The grilled flat iron steak with red chimichurri, the most popular item, represents this translation process. While at Cabana Las Lilas, Klauber tasted the red chimichurri sauce used in their dishes and brought the recipe back to Sarasota along with a picture of the dish. Using a different variety of steak, his team recreated the dish. “With these epicurean menus, our kitchen isn’t doing the same thing all the time, but they’re creating new menus every month, and sometimes a dish on the epicurean menus will become so popular that it bumps one off our regular menu,” Klauber says. From savory steak to traditional desserts, the menu has even impressed diners from Buenos Aires. “The idea is to bring some of our trips home for our local guests,” adds Klauber, “and we really want to honor the original experience that we had.”

The Argentina Epicurean Adventure Menu is available during March at Michael’s On East. 1212 East Ave. S., Sarasota, bestfood.com.

Pictured: Croquetas de Bacalao or Atlantic Cod Croquettes with Chimichurri Aioli and Roasted Red Pepper and Raisin Salad Photo Courtesy of Micheal's On East

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