Dear Food Diary:
From NYC to Buenos Aires, I’ve always been a city girl, so when looking for a place to stay in Mendoza, I took the chance to be as far away from the city as possible. Close to the vineyards and the amazing mountain views. Villa Mansa Wine Hotel was offering an awesome discount right before our trip, woohooo! Right in the heart of Lujan the Cuyo (one of the three wine regions in Mendoza), our stay was everything I had wanted – excellent food, personal service and great location.
A boutique hotel. Close to 4 wineries (bodegas). There’s a small amount of vines in the front. They produce their own Malbec in very small quantities. The staff is super friendly and basically helped us plan our day to day. From renting bikes, to car and anything we needed in between. Eugenia was so warm and took care of us in every way.
Quiet with great views of the Aconcagua (snow capped mountain) on one side and Andes on the other side.
We arrived in the morning, after settling down, we opted to have lunch in their restaurant. I had my reservations about it being touristy, but pleasantly surprised by the quality of food. We actually ate most of our meals there and loved it. I don’t usually stay in this much while traveling, but because the hotel was a bit further from town, we just preferred to end our nights by the outdoor seating area with a nice bottle of Malbec. Nice and relaxing.
Bife de Chorizo (Sirloin Steak) with Scalloped Potatoes and Chimichurri Sauce was perfectly cooked. That nice crust on the outside, while the inside was “jugoso” (extra juicy)!!! Ohhh so tender and goood. There’s nothing like having beef back home. And of course the quintissential chimichurri and a pinch of salt.
Don’t let my smile fool you. Riding was a bit harder than I expected on dirt roads. I have lots of bruises to prove it. And going on the road with cars freaked me out! So we opted to just visit the Wineries that were near by. It was fun, but painful for me! LOL
Grilled Pork Chop with Caramelized Pears was another hit! The chef uses the oven well… The pork is juicy and tender. The flavors of the meat are brought out by the smokey/sweet pears. And a bit of that tart/peppery arugula to brighten everything.
We sat outside, by the moon and stars. Relaxing after a long day with dessert, wine and tea… so nice, we repeated it the next night. (If every night could end this way… this ChubbyGirl could only hope)
After our big breakfast we did a day trip of Alta Montaña/Puente Inca and Villavicencio one day and the next a full day of Winery Tours and an unforgettable lunch right next to the vineyards of Ruca Malen. All coordinated by Eugenia! (Posts to come soon).
I would definitely recommend Villa Mansa Wine Hotel if you are visiting. We had a spectacular stay. Remises aka cabs are easy to get and will take you all around (it is inexpensive). You can also rent a car for the day or your whole stay at about $50/per day.
Av. Roque Saenz Peña 4900
Lujan de Cuyo, Mendoza