Buenos Aires' Recoleta neighborhood is studded with ritzy hotels, luxury leather accessory shops, and frantic dog-walkers who trudge along its many sloped cobblestone streets. Across the tony area in Argentina's capital are many restaurants that peddle the country's meat-centric epicurean fare. There are empanadas, ñoquis in cream sauce, lots of ojo de bife, and plenty of Malbec. Service is provided by one or two proud waiters -- the kind of porteños who sneer when chicken isn't pronounced posho (a sound that replicates air escaping a tire) or an asado appetizer is ordered without chinchulines (small intestines of typically beef or pig).
In Miami, Argentine restaurants also conform. Novecento, which has locations from Argentina to Key Biscayne to New York, and Graziano's, the locally owned group with outposts in Coral Gables and Brickell, feature formulaic menus of traditional steak-house fare. Grilled sweetbreads, caesar salads, and dulce de leche crepes are the norm.
Doma Polo Bistro, a downtown eatery that opened in August 2012, is in certain ways like these two groups. The menu lists classic dishes, such as salpicón and milanesa. Its pages are filled with erroneous translations from Spanish to English. (If you think the "wiped" cream on the panqueques de dulce de leche is some experiment in molecular gastronomy, think again.)
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Despite the similarities, Doma sets itself apart. The eatery overlooks the American Airlines Arena and is next door to the appropriately named sports bar Hoops. For diners, the location indicates two things: Dinner on the patio on game night can be rowdy, and arriving at the restaurant is sometimes impossible. But it's worth it. The food is quite enjoyable.
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