Pablo Rivero and Guido Tassi
What is it about? While Don Julio started out as a neighbourhood parrilla, or steakhouse, in a 19th-century corner property, today the family-run restaurant has truly raised the bar through its commitment to regenerative Argentine cattle farming, a 60,000-strong cellar that embraces Argentina’s wine story and an unmatched dedication to organic agriculture.
What’s the vibe? Appearances are deceptive: while the queues suggest ‘tourist magnet’, Don Julio in fact retains a huge local clientele, who keep coming back for its delicious steaks and exemplary cellar. Service is precise, but owner and sommelier Pablo Rivero ensures the restaurant also retains a casual ambience, inviting diners to pen loving messages on empty bottles that then join the wall of wine fame.
On the menu: Go the whole hog, starting with gooey provoleta goat’s cheese and mollejas (sweetbreads) before moving onto the beefy main attractions accompanied by organic grilled asparagus or heirloom tomatoes. Speciality cuts sourced from regeneratively farmed Aberdeen Angus and Hereford cattle include asado de tira (short ribs) and entraña (skirt steak).
Any other ventures? During the pandemic, Rivero and executive chef Guido Tassi opened La Carnicería de Don Julio, allowing diners to enjoy the duo’s famous butchery skills at home. The parrilla recently also godfathered a small square, giving it a new lease of life as a biodynamic urban garden whose veggies are donated to local soup kitchens.
Worth noting: A former No.1, named The Best Restaurant in Latin America 2020, Palermo-based Don Julio also took home the Art of Hospitality Award in 2018. In 2022, Rivero is voted the inaugural winner of the Beronia Latin America’s Best Sommelier Award.