Cafe Society

The Lunch Bunch

I checked out Buenos Aires Grill (see "Grill of My Dreams," September 21) again on Wednesday -- this time for lunch, which I'd somehow missed during my first whirlwind tour through owner Francis Carrera's beautifully appointed Argentine fine- dining restaurant. And while almost everything I loved at dinner (bacalao and sweet potato fries, blood sausage and the pimp who looked like Willie Nelson) was AWOL at lunch, the staff was kind enough to dig a couple of morcilla sausages out of the cooler and throw them on the grill for me and my friends.

Other highlights? Well, we had the place pretty much to ourselves, so the service was attentive. Seeing the dining room in the full glow of morning does nothing to blunt its surprising luxury -- which is good, because there are lots of places out there that, in the cold, sober light of dawn, suddenly look a less like temples than they do when their imperfections are hidden by deep shadows and candlelight.

The best thing about lunch here, though, was that the Carrera family has brought a little of Argentina's cosmopolitan feel to Denver by offering a host of brunch-ish items until two or three in the afternoon -- a much more humane hour for breakfast, which is something that the night-owl Argentinians understand very well. I had revueltos -- scrambled eggs with schiffonade prosciutto and parsley over fried shoestring potatoes—and a few beers while killing a couple of hours downtown, and by the time I was done with that (plus the blood sausages, some less-than-impressive chorizo, chicken and potato salads, and a slice of killer pumpkin cheesecake that the chef had just whipped up for kicks that morning) ,I was more than ready to take on the afternoon. What was left of it, anyway.

Better than a McMuffin any day. — Jason Sheehan

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