Buenos Aires Restaurant: Unik
In 2006, Argentinian architect and restaurateur Marcelo Joulia opened the restaurant and boutique Unico in Paris’s Bastille area. Now he has returned home. In June, he opened Unik in Buenos Aires’s Palermo neighborhood. An impressive 60-foot marble bar stretches the length of a narrow room where diners gaze into chef Fernando Hara’s open kitchen. Furniture from Joulia’s own collection—lamps, chairs, tables and objects by design greats like Eames, Jacobsen, Gehry—set against persimmon leather banquettes and wood-paneled walls give the space a relaxed, stylish feel, while Hara’s refined cuisine (slow-cooked Patagonian lamb shank with cumin-spiced quinoa, for example) gives Unik its culinary chops. After dinner hours (read: 2 a.m.), the restaurant fills with diners who revel under a large neon sculpture by Chinese artist Jiang Zhi that reads, fittingly, “BadaBOOM.” Soler 5132; 54-11/4772-2230; unik.pro
Buenos Aires Shopping: A Curated List
Arandu: This is the place for custom-made luxury leather saddles (from $395), and while you’re there, pick up a pair of hand-tooled leather gaucho boots ($425). At Ayacucho 1924; arandu.com.ar.
Cardon: Gauchos love espadrilles, and the ones here are made from carpincho, which resembles pigskin and becomes even more comfortable and distinguished with age. $30; Avda. Alvear 1847; cardon.com.ar.
Claraz: Be sure to get a set of perfectly balanced handcrafted steak knives from this shop, which sells all sorts of artisanal goods. The knives’ rustic bone handles complement their hand-forged steel blades. From $700; Avda. Posadas 1170; estacionclaraz.com.ar.
Dorina Vidoni: This designer’s creations recall a tamer version of Rick Owens’s, such as a beautifully draped tunic dress made of the softest jersey ($245). At Libertad 1375; dorinavidoni.com.
Kuna: With Jil Sander–esque simplicity, this Peruvian brand offers handloomed alpaca wool sweaters (from $110), coats (from $330
), scarves (from $30) and gloves (from $25). At Pierina Dealessi 538; kuna.com.pe.
Marcelo Senta: This is the city’s boho-chic fashionistas’ go-to boutique for wonderful raffia-fringed hobo bags. From $730; Talcahuano 1133; marcelosenra.com.
Pablo Ramirez: This reigning prince of BA’s high-end fashion is the rage among the local elegant set for his clean, black-and-white, Jackie O–inspired aesthetic. At Peru 587; pabloramirez.com.ar. —Nina Griscom
Buenos Aires Hotel: Mio Buenos Aires
Cristina Catena, the beautiful scion of one of Argentina’s most well-known wine families, is more vintner than hotelier. But her first effort, MIO, in the posh Recoleta neighborhood, is an intensely personal and extremely elegant boutique hotel. From the street, 20-foot-tall wooden doors made from French oak wine barrels open to a peaceful, sleek lobby. A small mezzanine library with stark modern stone floors and walls of glass overlooks a landscaped terrace. The 30 suites reflect nature’s influence, with exquisite hand-carved bathtubs by Argentinian artist Mario Dasso, who “engraves nature,” says Catena. Of course, creature comforts abound: In addition to the standard luxe amenities, she has equipped each room with a personal wine fridge. Rooms start at $265. Avda. At Quintana 465; 54-11/5295-8500; miobuenosaires.com