The Argentines are known for their drama. They invented the tango, for starters, and their economy has seen more crises than an opera heroine. Their cuisine, however, is strikingly plain -- perhaps because such a tumultuous culture has come to crave one thing that is consistent and simple. Restaurateur Jorge Sosa, an Argentine ex-pat, saw his share of telenovela-worthy tribulations after a messy divorce caused him to yield the Tribeca branch of his Sosa Borella to his ex. (Itâs now Estancia 460.) But he reestablishes himself downtown with his newest venture, Lomito, just a few blocks away from his original effort. Its white brick walls, shiny windows and objets dâart play up at the glamour and elegance of Buenos Aires design, and like the cityâs eateries, the menu focuses primarily on plainly prepared meats and pasta. Real PorteÃ±os would scoff at the price of the tiny beef empanadas ($8), though, and be under-whelmed by their stingy seasoning. But homemade pastas, like spinach-ricotta cannelloni ($18) in a slightly sweet tomato sauce provide necessary comfort, while meaty short ribs ($28) carried a nice charred flavor. The strip steak ($32) held an herbaceous taste in line with the countryâs famous grass-fed cattle. A red snapper ($28) uncharacteristically made the boldest statement, with its vibrant lemon chimichurri. As we left, we noticed a teary Spanish-language film being shown at the bar. Not surprising. After such a placidly-flavored meal, patrons need to get their dose of South American-style drama somewhere.
Lomito, 300 Spring St., (212) 929-9494