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Tango & Malbec: Music and Meat Make Dining Divine
At Tango & Malbec, the passion and energy of the sultry Tango fuse with high-end South American food that is influenced by European cuisine and known for meats grilled on a wood-fire parilla, smoky flavors and complementary bold wines.

An Argentine restaurant in Houston’s Galleria area, Tango & Malbec provides a refreshing departure from the popular Brazilian all-you-can-eat fest of grilled meats carved tableside from skewers that previously has represented South American food in the United States. Tango & Malbec’s concept offers good eating and drinking mixed with entertainment—in the form of live music and a Tango show—in a unique, warm and elegant atmosphere. Plus, the open grill and kitchen allow guests to see and participate in the culinary experience while they indulge in a superb variety of Malbec wines.

The restaurant features a rustic and yet modern dÈcor of brick with blacks and reds that frames the view into the kitchen where a tiered grill setup—constantly fired with mesquite and pecan—greets guests with a wood-smoke aroma. Diners then experience the flavors and warmth of Rio de la Plata, a unique region shared by Uruguay and Argentina with European roots and a passion for food and warm hosting.

Although a number of salads and seafood dishes grace the menu, Tango & Malbec’s signature fare by chefs Mauricio MacEntyre and Gerardo Gomez is red meat grilled on the wood-stoked parilla so exceptional it is called Parrillada como en el 50 as an homage to the Uruguay win over Brazil in the 1950 World Cup final. Some highlights include churrasco of lomo, the Argentine term for tenderloin, and buffalo steak grilled to order. The restaurant’s strong South American wine list complements the meat and includes selections from the up-and-coming winemaking region of Patagonia.

For the more adventurous diner, the chef offers crispy sweetbreads and tongue vinaigrette, and the sides are full of Argentine flavor and influence. Consider a mild Russian-style potato salad, or go bold with a variety of fried empanadas, including the white-corn choclo in a creamy sauce and the molten onion-and-cheese fugazetta.

Showing up on the lunch and bar or after-hours menus are oblong pizzas that represent Argentina and the culinary influence of its Italian immigrants. Cooked fast in the wood-burning oven, the pizzas have thin, crackly flatbread-like crusts and are topped with grilled meats like full-flavored short rib, fat-marbled beef or spicy slices of chorizo.

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