Puerto Madero is the sleek, trendy, up and coming new face of Buenos Aires; it represents the largest urban redevelopment project in the city. The area has literally hundreds of stylish bars and restaurants, luxuriously furbished offices and apartments, high-class nightclubs and five star hotels, including the first in the area, the Hilton Buenos Aires. The neighborhood includes new high-rise development (with residential towers at 50 stories or more), as well as renovation of the many brick warehouses that used to make up the thriving industrial port of the city. Every street in Puerto Madero is named after women. The Puente de la Mujer (Women’s Bridge) designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, is the newest link between the east and west docks of Puerto Madero. Built in Spain and shipped to the city in sections, this iconic pedestrian bridge is 335 feet long, and rotates 90 degrees to allow for the passage of boats up and down the river.
We actually began our tour of this area the very first night we arrived in Buenos Aires, before heading off to Mendoza and Patagonia. We met our local guide Marcelo at our hotel and took a short taxi ride to Cabana Las Lilas, one of the most popular restaurants in the city, known for its delicious cuts of beef. We had a table out on the waterfront patio, overlooking the Rio de la Plata, the high-rise, high-end development across the river, and Women’s Bridge in the distance. If you are in Buenos Aires and decide to have dinner here, be aware that if you order one of their famous steaks, that is what you will get –no potatoes, no vegetables, no side dishes whatsoever. Our guide explained that, at least at this restaurant, to mix the flavors of side dishes with the meat entree would take away from the savory juices of the steak. Personally, I would like the option to have a more balanced meal! Interestingly, however, we didn’t experience this in other parts of Argentina, where different fruits and vegetables (very often pumpkin) complimented every meal.