Well ... here we go again. Another one of those restaurants with no menu a la carte. You go, roll the dice and eat what they have in a multi-course tasting menu with an array of flavors. I’ve already expressed the pros and cons of this format. Maybe this would be one of those rare pleasant surprises. Not the train-wreck I experienced at El Baqueano. After all, two of the city’s most celebrated chefs, Gonzalo Aramburu of Aramburu and Emilio Garip of Oviedo fame had mentioned Paraje Arévalo as being a “go to” spot when they were out for a dining experience. And Allie Lazar, an American ex-pat that knows way more about food in Buenos Aires than any home-grown Porteño, has listed it as one of her favorite restaurants on more than one occasion.So what the heck ... I decided to roll the dice. I went on a Wednesday night. This place flies under the radar in international restaurant chatter so it typically isn’t very busy on a Tuesday or Wednesday night. On the occasion I went there was only me and an ex-pat couple dining. That was it. So be forewarned, the experience you have on a weekend night might be a little different.Paraje Arévalo has no a la carte menu. Just a seven and ten-course tasting menu, with or without paired wines. One of the downsides of this format is that picky eaters might be out of luck on some of the courses. I personally prefer a restaurant that gives you a choice of either choosing from the menu or experiencing the tasting menu ... like Martin M’s Pura Tierra in Belgrano. But if it fits on a fork, I’ll eat it ... So that’s no issue for me provided each course carries its weight on the menu.A medley of American crooner tunes (both male and female) from the 1940’s was softly playing in the background. You know. Frank singing “Dancing Cheek to Cheek”. Good music ... but lacking the contemporary flair this place sorely appeared to need.Allie Lazar has described the décor as “simple”. But why sugar-coat it? I think it might be more accurate to say “non-existent”. There’s a bicycle sitting on top of a chest at the back of the dining room. There’s a Michelin Man sitting with a hodge-podge of other items on a shelf above the front desk. Not much more that would count as décor. (I suppose they think this will increase their star count when the Guide comes to town ... But not likely.)The table setting started with an inexpensive black table cloth. Topped by a votive with a candle and a water glass. A wine glass if you’re drinking wine. That’s it.Let’s sum it up by saying this place will not likely be featured in Architectural Digest any time soon. So if Ambiance is high on your list this is not likely a best choice for a restaurant in Buenos Aires.But I can tolerate lack of atmosphere any day if the food and service is good. So how’d Paraje Arévalo fare in those categories?The first course consisted of small torn-off pieces of a light and savory sponge cake accompanied by a sweet, smoked eggplant chutney and wafer-thin slices of goat cheese. Very good.Next up was a small salad of fresh wild greens and delicate herbs, dressed in a well-balanced vinaigrette with tiny bits of orange-like citrus and artichokes. What a great combination of greens and herbs!. South America utilizes a pungent little herb called Melissa that led this orchestra of greens. It should be cultivated and utilized by American chefs more often. I’ve seen this in nurseries and being sold as a live plant in local grocery stores in Latin America but had never cooked with it. I’ll be growing it my garden soon! This second dish was again, very good.The third course was a lightly poached egg served with beet sprouts, little bits of fried calamari and crisp pancetta. Each spoonful of the crispy little bits of seafood and salty bacon, mixed in with the broken egg was better than the last. Soon there was nothing but the bottom of the bowl. I glanced across the room at the couple that was having the same course and noticed one of them tearing off a piece of bread to lap up the final bit of egg in the bowl. It just wouldn’t be right to leave that last bit behind, now would it?And now the fish course. A small portion of flaky white salmon, seared, lightly dressed, and topped with little shavings of celery, radish and pickled beet root. And of course, more of the tiny beet sprouts. The neutral flavor of the fish needed a boost and received it with the slightly tart, slightly sweet accompaniment.The fifth course was described as a mushroom ragu. The chefs had utilized some richly flavored wild mushrooms in small bits and slices sitting on a mushroom paste with a small scattered bunch of watercress as a garnish. The chefs had apparently taken the poetic license of not thoroughly washing the delicate mushrooms, wanting to preserve the earthy taste. The result was a little bit of grit in the mushroom paste. For some diners this might be viewed as an error in execution. But it did not significantly modify the enjoyment of the dish so it did not weigh heavily in my evaluation of the course. I think a lighter mushroom broth that captured the flavor of the mushrooms would have been a better choice than the puree.The sixth course was a rice dish with a few small pieces of seared chicken breast. The rice, brought in from another region of Argentina, Formosa, was delicious with a strong rich flavor. A good contrast for a typically bland chicken breast. But I also detected some slight flavor in each bite of the chicken as if it had been brined with something to add a bit of flavor.Finally, a sweet pear puree with a vanilla and chocolate crumble adorned with tiny flavorful petals of Margarita, an indigenous flower. The dessert was tasty but a bit on the simple side. This was followed by a little quenelle shaped chocolate morsel (with the consistency of something between a mouse and a truffle) rolled in almonds and little crystals of sugar with a sprinkling of that same mixture on the plate. A rich texture. A perfect balance between bitter and sweet in the chocolate. Again, a delicious couple of bites but nothing that would knock your socks off.To sum it up, almost every course was perfectly executed. The flavors and creativity were very good but on the whole I felt it all was just slightly mundane. I would like to see this duo in the kitchen ramp it up a notch on the proteins and the desserts.But that said, it was a good meal. The restaurant is definitely worth a visit to see what this pare of creative cooks will be dishing out in the near future. But be forewarned. Like so many of our favorite restaurants in Palermo Hollywood, ambiance is a little lacking.