I received a pleasant surprise recently when I entered one of my favorite restaurants in Buenos Aires, Republica. As I was walking up the marble staircases to the 1st floor dining room, I saw a sticker in the window of the wooden door. It read: “Fodor’s Choice 2008: One of the world’s top establishments selected by the most discerning travel experts.” Well, I’m happy to say, that I’m the discerning dude who chose this restaurant as one of the city’s best in the recently published 1st edition of “Fodor’s Buenos Aires.”
I have worked on five edition of Fodor’s Guides, dating back to 2001. In every one, I have offered my favorite restaurants, hotels and sites in the “Fodor’s Choice” category, however, this is the first time I have ever seen a “Fodor’s Choice” sticker in Buenos Aires, which leads me to believe they are something new. I think it will provide a PR boost for the Fodor's brand in Argentina, where it is not well-known, despite the fact that they are the largest publisher of English-language travel guides in the world. I’ll have to check around town at my other top picks to see if they are displaying their stickers. If anyone sees one, let me know.
As for Republica, it is a wonderfully charming place for a fantastic meal. The relaxed atmosphere is provided by the constant presence of owner/chef Maria Jose Moretti (pictured above with her boyfriend and co-owner/chef Javier Hourquebie) whose shy sweetness and attention to detail are endearing.
What made my sticker discovery even more fun that night was meeting Gail and Daphne, two women from Chicago who were visiting Buenos Aires for the first time. We started chatting and I asked them how they had heard about Republica. Their answer: “Fodor’s. We live and die by its restaurant recommendations while on vacation.” Now, that’s what I like to hear.