Buenos Aires, Argentina
In the three short years since it first opened, cosmopolitan restaurant Anafe in Buenos Aires has spread its wings. In 2018, Micaela Najmanovich and Nicolás Arcucci partnered up to create a small supper-club concept in Colegiales, which has become a fully-fledged and thriving restaurant since 2020. The winner of the American Express One To Watch Award 2021 is now taking the industry by storm from its trendy corner of the Argentine capital.
Anafe is a tale of many cities. Najmanovich and Arcucci, who are partners in both life and business, have taken inspiration from their heritage and travels all over the world: Najmanovich trained in Australia and Argentina, while Arcucci’s Italian and Spanish influences shine through in each of the small plates.
Diners are whisked around the globe with every mouthful, with the likes of glazed pork ribs with gochujang and Vietnamese carpaccio of tataki sliced beef, melon, jalapeño and peanuts. The profiterole has already become a favourite, comprising crispy Paris-Brest filled with praline semifreddo and oozy caramel sauce.
The 50-seat restaurant retains an intimate atmosphere. Tall ceilings and cream-coloured décor effuse a relaxed vibe, allowing the food to take centre stage.
Putting their artistic minds together, Najmanovich and Arcucci are dedicated to meticulous technique and perfect flavour, both reflected in the carefully laid-out menu. Organised by small to large and cold to warm dishes, the food has been crafted with a view for sharing, while the staff are always on hand to delve into the origins of each dish.
Despite the setbacks brought by the pandemic during the last year, the young restaurant has developed in bounds. Najmanovich and Arcucci are always focussed on improving their offering, in both gastronomy and service alike, making them worthy winners of the American Express One To Watch Award 2021.
Read the interview with Anafe's Najmanovich and Arcucci and watch the video:
The American Express One To Watch Award recognises a restaurant in Latin America that opened within the last two years showing originality and promise. Five venues were shortlisted for the award, with Anafe announced as the victor during the awards ceremony on 22nd November 2021. The other candidates were:
- Ancestral, La Paz, Bolivia
- Charco, São Paulo, Brazil
- Crudo, Oaxaca, Mexico
- El Xolo – Maíz Criollo, San Salvador, El Salvador
Discover more about the previous award winners