He’s an octopus man. To the chef Lisandro Ciarlotti He likes to go out to greet diners. Also, make the fire on your grill from scratch and distribute the wood that will make a simple lemon fish, the fish with which you pose for the photo, for one night become the gourmet star of your kitchen. He is seen enjoying himself while organizing the team of waiters and assistants of his new restaurant at the Casa Mar parador, in Pinamar. But if there is something that he really values, it is patience: the “secret” of his dishes.
Ciarlotti is the youngest of four siblings. He was born in Bariloche in 1982, into a family with a gastronomic tradition, and at 10 he moved with his family to Mar del Plata, where in 2011 he founded “Lo de Tata”, a still life that takes as its name the nickname of his grandfather and that was able to position itself as a classic of La Feliz. Today, is valued in the gourmet world for its cuisine of the sea and mountains both by locals and tourists.
“We never imagined so much recognition, but neither did we forget that each applause raises the bar high and we have to live up to it every day,” he analyzes from his last project, the restaurant at the Casa Mar parador that he inaugurated this summer with his partner Hernán Domínguez , with which they also share a kitchen in Caldo, in the same coastal city.
The idea of Casa Mar is bring to Pinamar that grill and wood-fired oven that for years they have perfected in Mar del Plata using fresh raw materials from the region, both from the sea and from the mountains, to achieve a menu of real and native flavors.
The grill is a Ciarlotti specialty. Photo: Fernando de la Orden
The coronavirus was a hard blow for all gastronomic activity, admits Ciarlotti. In addition to the cessation of activity for eight months, the chef highlights that the virus messed with that confident Argentinian, that family atmosphere that characterizes traditional still lifes. “I believe that restaurants will never be what they were again. That of grabbing a chair next door, for example, doesn’t exist anymore and it’s going to cost a lot to return to that simplicity, ”he says.
“Lo de Tata” made headlines in the midst of the pandemic due to the line of more than 600 people that was assembled, after the chef published a staff search notice on the Internet. “I regret having made that post. They were really desperate people, who had nothing to eat. Most of them had nothing to do with gastronomy ”, he recalls and says that they interviewed everyone to put together a database that they shared with other gastronomists.
Gastronomic proposal from Casa Mar, Lisandro Ciarlotti’s restaurant. Photo: Fernando de la Orden
–And the restrictions on commercial activity that the province of Buenos Aires ordered? How do they affect the sector?
“ In restaurants, we take shifts of an hour and a half. At Tata, for example, we have a capacity for 40 covers and we did them three or four times in one night. Now we will only be able to do two shifts.
During the day, Casa Mar, located on Av. Del Mar and De los Picaflores offers a more beachy menu. At night, a gourmet menu specially oriented to seafood and fish. The star dishes are the spaghetti with seafood, the Casa Mar fishing and the squid risotto. But the restaurant aims to generate a schedule of guest chefs and gastronomic events.
Octopus carpaccio, one of the Casa Mar dishes. Fernando de la Orden
One of the first was the one organized with Bodegas Salentein, with a menu of steps specially designed by Ciarlotti and Hernández to pair with the brand’s wines. Marriage of anchovy and anchovy, for the aperitif; octopus carpaccio, for the entrance; Nino Bergese ravioli with egg and truffle butter, as main, and tiramisu, for dessert. A proposal of Italian roots with the fusion of Atlantic cuisine.
Anyone visiting Mar del Plata on a Sunday could find Ciarlotti playing basketball at Peñarol, the club where he played professionally until he was 20 years old and where now manage the buffet with a style, which he defines as “more relaxed.” Sometimes he is accompanied by Román, his 2-year-old son whom he baptized in honor of Riquelme. He is a fan of Boca and made his son a partner. “He already likes to cook,” he describes it with emotion.
Pinamar. Special Envoy