Restaurant Review: Dada Bistrot

Dada (San Martin 941: 4314-4787, Retiro) is old school in more ways than one. This little “bistro” has only a dozen tables, a handful of bar stools, no host and instead of reservations they give you a window of time – which they may or may not adhere to. Despite, or rather because of this, the super-casual atmosphere was exactly what we were looking for when we visited for dinner a few weeks ago. Once again, Time Out was instrumental in guiding us to this restaurant, because even though Dada has been recommended to us by multiple people, we never seem to remember it when we’re thinking of a new place to go. We certainly weren’t the only ones that relied on the magazine for a Dada recommendation, here the bartender is actually posing with a copy of Time Out for another patron’s photo.

This is one of the first real bars we’ve been to since moving here. The bartenders are quick, ready to refill your drink and actually interact with the people sitting at their bar. Our “reservation” was at 11:00pm, and though we waited for awhile after that time came and went, we were well tended to and were even asked if we wanted to order at the bar instead of waiting for a table. This is second nature to most places in the US, but rarely, if ever happens at restaurants in BsAs. I ordered a caipiroska (which was delicious) and Jon had a beer, which was served to him in a wine glass – we are still missing out on draft beer. The only draft they offered was Quilmes, which is like asking for an agua con gas.

Since we had some time to get hungry while we waited, it was nice that menu features and specials were written out on chalkboards around the restaurant. The bar features Ruca Malen wines, which is a great quality choice, though somehow not what I was expecting for this more rustic-style place. Dada continued to surprise me with the best hummus and pita chips appetizer I’ve had in Argentina (I should note that I’ve only had this dish a handful of times, not a popular offering in local restaurants) – such a strange collection of items, but somehow it works.

I ordered a steak salad as my main dish, while my husband had the lomo. Both dishes were delicious, and we had devoured them before I had a chance to take any photos. The food was far more elegant than you would originally expect when looking at the bar, but it’s one of the many surprises we had at Dada.

I will say that as the night went on, service got more and more scarce. We asked for our check two or three times before finally receiving it at 1:30am (!!). Considering the food, wine, drinks and bar service were all great, something had to give.

All in all, a great spot that we will return to for future casual nights out.

***This restaurant review was written by BAIN Downtown member and blogger, Dawn Gill.  For this and other reviews on expat life, visit her blog:  To contribute a review or highlight your blog, contact