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The Knife Argentinean Steakhouse

Here's the deal: Each diner in this airy, brightly adorned restaurant is offered either a bottle of red or white wine, two glasses of soda, or two beers. A basket of warm, pale, soft baguettes follows, and then it's time for the salad bar, which also contains traditional Argentine appetizers. After grazing on greens, you go to the grill area, grab a metal plate from the counter, and let one of the grill guys load it up with your requested cuts (some 35 items are available). This is a mostly self-serve operation, though the waiter delivers starches (platters of French fries, mashed potatoes, or white rice), desserts (one apiece), and coffee. The wine isn't anything to savor, but there's a separate list available for the connoisseur. Sweetbreads are crisp, sausages juicy, and red meats reliable, sometimes rousing; we suggest flavor-intense cuts such as flank (matambre), rump roast (costilla de cuadril), and short ribs (asado de costilla). A bacon-wrapped leg stuffed with ham and peppers was fantastic and French fries are hot and crunchy. Dulce de leche crêpes are flipped in an open-kitchen for all to see. Price for all of the above: $25.45 weekdays, $27.45 weekends. Not surprising, there are long weekend waits to get in.