Los Fuegos' roast beef
Photo by billwisserphoto.com
Los Fuegos' roast beef

Los Fuegos by Francis Mallmann

Within the luxurious confines of the Faena Hotel, orange flames lick a multifunctional grill designed and built in Texas. Oak and charcoal fuel the plancha, parrilla, and smoker. It's also the source of scalding ash for rescoldo, a process in which vegetables are gently roasted in the fire's refuse. There's also an open pit where cooks string up whole chickens that bob to and fro. It's a method that Argentina's favorite cocinero, Francis Mallmann, often deploys while cooking in remote parts of Argentina or Uruguay's rolling hills. But there's no such rustic outdoor fire pit at Los Fuegos by Francis Mallmann. Instead, hulking steaks, whole chickens, and blistering cast-iron pans bearing charred vegetables whip around a crimson-and-cheetah-print room. And despite the fashionable scene, the food is superbly simple. Meat comes adorned with little more than a punch of chimichurri; sides receive only a splash of olive oil. Simpler is often better, and in this case, it's stunning. Insider tip: Be sure to visit on the weekends, when the cooks break out rope and steel to tie heaps of beef, chicken, and vegetables that are then slow-roasted on a roaring fire. Who knows? You might just find Argentine poet/gaucho/chef Mallmann, complete with a beret and a glass of Malbec, working the flame.

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