Argentine-inspired barcito opens downtown tonight—and there’s free booze

Provoleta with seared goat cheese, charred lemon, and crusty bread; langostino with plancha-cooked potatoes and remoulade; rosé sangria with rum and a medley of South American fruits. They all remind owner Andrea Borgen of childhood summers visiting her grandparents in Argentina (well, maybe not the sangria, but all the other things for sure) which is why she put them on the menu at barcito, the new gaucho-inspired bar and restaurant Downtown.

“I have such fond memories of my trips to Argentina as a child,” says Borgen, “I wanted to recreate the social dining experience that is so prevalent in Buenos Aires—I believe Angelenos will embrace it.” So she did recreate it. The place oozes Argentinian style thanks to head designer—and Borgen’s uncle—Flavio Bisciotti, an experienced furniture designer and interior architect who drew inspiration from the classic corner bars of Buenos Aires.

Executive Chef Chuck Abair, who has spent time in notable Los Angeles kitchens like Water Grill and Providence, worked closely with Borgen to develop an extensive menu that offers regional favorites like choripan, a grilled chorizo sandwich with chimichurri, and ñoquis, the South American transliteration of Italian gnocchi. Barcito’s grand opening is tonight, and they’ll be pouring free wine, beer, and draft cocktails until 6 p.m. So stop reading this and go get your gaucho on.