Gastronomy News Chef

Mariano Gallego, the Michelin-starred chef serving an 8-course menu at 40 euros

Serena Curto
copertina mariano gallego

Brindillas, the restaurant run by Mariano Gallego and Florencia D'Amico, stands out with an oferring as classic as it is honest despite the Michelin star

Photo of the Chef taken from the Bodega Ruca website

The news

After earning its first Michelin star, the restaurant Brindillas has become one of the top culinary destinations in Argentina. Managing this establishment are chef Mariano Gallego and restaurateur Florencia D'Amico, a couple with extensive experience in other Michelin-awarded venues where they have learned the techniques of haute cuisine and all there is to know about the importance of quality ingredients. With a solid fifteen years of experience under their belt, Brindillas has never sought to be part of the glossy gastronomic world, the one talked about in magazines, blogs, social networks, newspapers - as reported by 7 Canibales.

maiano gallego

"We're not on the press radar, we don't like pop-ups, and I don't get along with influencers. I don't know if we're old-fashioned or just not trendy, but this is our approach to dining. We prefer you to meet us in our restaurant, with Mariano in the kitchen and me in the dining room," explains Florencia. Located about 15 kilometers from the capital Mendoza, Brindillas is situated in Vistalba - in Luján de Cuyo - a historic region that produces some of Argentina's finest wines. The neighborhood is quiet, and the restaurant is hidden behind a fence. The reception area is spacious and warm-colored; the antechamber of a restaurant that seems large but actually accommodates very few diners, with only a few tables accepting no more than 18 customers per day. "We opened in 2005, taking advantage of a family property. There was nothing like it in the area, and the truth is, we didn't think at all about who would come here: we were just enthusiastic, determined, and maybe a little naive," Mariano explains.


"In 2008, we realized there was still much to learn, so we closed and went to Europe. We spent just over a year in Barcelona before flying to Tokyo. Eventually, we returned, and in 2011, we reopened Brindillas, bringing with us all that experience gained." Today, the menu offers two possible courses - 8/11 courses - with ingredients of the highest quality sourced from various markets in Mendoza, but not limited to local produce. The eight-course menu costs about $44, while the 11-course one costs around $60. Prices are significantly below the Mendoza average, and this is even more evident in the selection and prices of wines. There are indeed bottles of wine starting at $6.5. Of course, luxury wines and pairings with luxury dishes are also available, bringing the 11-course menu to about $120. "We are honest in our proposal, and what you read on the menu is what you will receive at the table. That's what we've been doing since day one," explains Florencia.

brindillas piatto
brindillas sala

And furthermore: "We want the best product that can be found, whether it's La Vera paprika, Atlantic fish, or local lamb from the Lavalle area." The menu begins with a small taste and five appetizers, where highlights include a kind of corn chawanmushi (sweet corn) and a delicious bonbon pâté, already an immutable signature of this establishment that has remained over the years. Next is a pumpkin sopaipilla (fried bread) with shrimp and coriander, a summer salmorejo with strawberries and fresh basil leaves, taco de reina and oregano, with basil foam. Among the highlights are two dishes that summarize the house's offering, with precise cooking, excellent products, technique but also tradition: one is the succulent lamb rack served with a delicate lamb and veal demi-glace, served with yogurt and eggplant in filo pastry; the other is pumpkin ice cream with goat cheese and seeds of the same pumpkin in caramelized sugar.

brindillas piatto2

"To me, a dish embodying our identity is the pre-dessert, which we try not to change. It's a lemon sorbet with yerba mate infusion. It's a simple recipe, which serves to cleanse the palate between meat and sweet. It has the bitterness of mate and the acidity of lemon; It's traditional, but at the same time, it gathers attention and brings back memories of tereré (cold mate). In the kitchen, I love to achieve these multiple facets," Mariano concludes.

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