Philadelphia, PA - Argentinean cuisine has come back to Philly with the opening of Malbec Argentine Steakhouse, in Old City block from 2nd and South Street. The restaurant is located at 400 S. 2nd Street and has replaced the former space once occupied by The Artful Dodger". Malbec orders up South American grilled meats—short ribs, chorizo, blood sausage, and steaks,-well as versions of Italian/Argentine dishes like ravioli and cannolini
Malbec was easy to find, with plenty parking available on 2nd street, although we had no problem finding a free space during dinner hours. Once inside, Malbec is a vegan's paradise! Just kidding, if you're not craving a lump of meat that's been resting on a hot grill for several minutes, then your probably in the wrong place. Their decor and ambiance are defiantly Argentinean, with a menu inspired by a cultural mix of Argentinian/Italian influences. As I suggested, steak is king, and the menu did not disappoint the grilled meat lover in me.
We started with some beef empanadas, a stuffed bread or pastry baked or fried in many countries in Latin Europe, Latin America. The meat stuffing was correctly done, using traditional raisins, green olives, and egg mix which screamed classic Argentine cooking. Having enjoyed our appetizer, we moved on to our main courses, an 8oz Filet Mignon and Strip Steak both perfectly grilled and served with chimichurri or chimichurri which is a green sauce used for grilled meat, originally from Argentina. The traditional topping made of finely-chopped parsley, minced garlic, vegetable oil, oregano, and white vinegar. Both cuts of meat were plentiful and cooked to our liking, my only complaint would be the strip steak was a tad too salty, but all and all the steaks were both delicious. Overall our experience was enjoyable, with everything from the service, food, and ambiance getting high marks.
Malbec defiantly brings a little bit of Argentine to Old City Philly and is a welcome culinary addition to the area, that's been missing for a few years now. Prices are a little on the high end, but comparable to any good steakhouse in the city, with several items priced in the teens and 20 dollar range. The showpiece is a classic Argentine parrillada for two at $49, a feast of grilled Angus short ribs, chorizo, blood sausage, sweetbreads, and skirt steak, served with your choice of two sides. The Menu has a little of everything including some Argentine interpretation of Italian specialties. For example, you can get ravioles and cannelones, as well as ñoquis, served according to tradition only on the 29th of each month. The restaurant also has a great bar area if you're looking to hang out or enjoy for some after-dinner drinks. Malbec defiantly does not disappoint, and I would suggest you try it out, especially if your steak lover or are with a crowd that love beef.