MEAT MASTERS

BY ALAENA HOSTETTER | PHOTOGRAPHY BY HOLGER OBENAUS


The signature parrillada de carnes includes a combination of grilled meats: ojo de bife, asado de tira, bife de chorizo, and corte especial 348.

Named for a main avenue in the Argentinean capital of Buenos Aires, South American import Corrientes 348 in downtown Dallas serves up an array of expertly grilled Argentinean meats, putting many local steakhouses to shame.What sets Corrientes 348’s choice cuts of beef, lamb, chicken and fish apart from the many options in Dallas is the incredibly pure way the proteins are prepared. With just a coating of sea salt before meeting the grill, the proteins’ purest flavors shine through, with salt as their only enhancement.

The restaurant’s less-is-more philosophy is applied across the board to great effect. For example, its interior employs a simple tawny beige and brown color scheme, with a woven wooden ceiling installation and sculptural iron light fixtures, adding warm visual appeal. Additionally, a whole section of the cocktail menu is devoted to the South American caipirinha cocktail, which is made rather simply from a fermented sugarcane spirit, called cachaça, before being finished off with brown sugar and freshly muddled fruit. It is as delicious as it is straightforward.

Diners come for the Argentinean- grilled meats, no doubt, but before embarking on main courses, don’t neglect to take a tour through the entradas on offer. Two varieties of grilled Argentinean pork sausage, chorizo Argentino and chorizo parrillero (the spicier of the two options), are worth ordering to whet your appetite for the meat onslaught to follow. Both are served with a piquant chimichurri dipping sauce that perfectly balances the rich, smoky pork.

The signature homemade empanadas 348 are filled with your choice of beef with egg, green olives and fresh herbs, or substitute raisins instead of herbs. Two vegetable options are also offered. Craft cocktails include the Tropical Smash, a banana- infused rum, mango reduction and a mint leaf garnish, and a classic old-fashioned.

 

Along with the chorizo, another quintessential South American delicacy, empanadas, are a must-order. In both beef and vegetarian varieties, the house-made savory pastries are some of the best in Dallas.

Although meat is the focus of this steakhouse, there are a host of delicious salads to choose from that balance the carnivorous feast. Afterall, some plants are needed to provide a counterweight to the 17 different protein options on the menu! Consider the traditional caprese with tomato, mozzarella and fresh basil—this one’s topped with crispy prosciutto. For sweet salad enthusiasts, the Bariloche with dried apricot, candied almonds and goat cheese atop a bed of arugula and red endive is a great bet. Those who want a taste of the tropics must opt for the 348 salad, with its delicious blend of watercress, endive and red onion topped with poignant caper berries and a key South American ingredient—heart of palm.

Carb lovers will be glad to find a range of starchy side orders, including varieties of polenta topped with cheeses or herbs, or rice infused with spices and veggies. The arroz parrillero is the restaurant’s Argentenian version of Asian fried rice, with its infusion of spicy pork sausage, eggs and shoestring potatoes.


Ojo de bife, a 16-ounce center-cut ribeye.


The salmon parrillero includes an 8- ounce grilled salmon served with grilled onions and topped with capers.

 

However, for a delectably indulgent side dish, the puré de papas is the eatery’s go-to. A base of mashed potatoes gets first-rate treatment, with roasted garlic, black pepper, provenzal spices and parmesan cheese— a lot of decadent parmesan cheese, lending a mouthwatering richness to the fluffy potatoes.

However, the meat is what diners come here for, and it does not disappoint. The very knowledgeable staff will guide diners through their options— for a marbleized cut of meat, go with ojo de bife (center-cut ribeye). For those who like their meat more well-done, the tapa de cuadril (top sirloin) maintains its tenderness at higher temperatures. For all of the delicious beefy options on the menu, pulling its own weight is the leg of lamb, which is cooked with just a coating of sea salt that envelops the juicy meat. Yet the pollito a la provenzal isn’t to be ignored—the delectably succulent boneless chicken legs are smothered in provenzal herbs before being grilled to perfection.

If there’s any way you still have room for dessert, a bevy of South American sweets are there to entice you. Crepes filled with delicious dulce de leche spread or fruit, like apples or bananas, take top billing on the menu. That’s not to overshadow the insanely delicious dulce de leche layer cake, custardy flan or the expertly prepared crème brûlée.

Alaena Hostetter is a Dallas-based journalist who writes about her favorite things: art, design, culture, music, entertainment and food.