One of the most elegant tango houses in the city, Esquina Carlos Gardel is located on the street Carlos Gardel in the Abasto neighbourhood, just around the corner from the statue of the singer himself. This building was previously home to restaurant and family-run hotel Chanta Cuatro, which opened in 1893 and was the meeting point of Carlos Gardel and his friends. Today, built and decorated like a 30's cabaret theatre, complete with the luxury, refinement and glamour that defined that decade, the venue takes you back in time to the golden era of Tango in Buenos Aires.
Esquina Carlos Gardel's doors open at exactly 20:30. Upon arrival, we were greeted by hostesses dressed in accordance with the 30s theme, who accompanied us to our allocated table. The dining hall is not particularly large, but it’s extremely neat and orderly, ensuring that all visitors are comfortable and preparing them for a more intimate show.
The dinner at Esquina Carlos Gardel
As is usually the case at the tango houses, dinner is served before the show. We had three options for the starter, main course and dessert, as well as the option of white wine or red wine; we chose red, for it seems to complement tango perfectly! Interestingly, all the dishes are named after Carlos Gardel tangos and the menu features classic Argentinean food, such as bife chorizo and dulce de leche. However, we decided to order something a little less typical this time; for the starter, we chose "Golondrinas" (salmon pate with citrus bread) and "Rubias de NY" (rolls of mozzarella stuffed with prosciutto and tomato), for the main "Sus ojos se cerraron" (grilled salmon in a yellow pepper and vanilla sauce) and for dessert "Amargura" (chocolate mousse).
The Esquina Carlos Gardel Tango show
The Tango show began promptly at 22:15, as we were informed when we arrived. The orchestra is situated above the stage, where they play music to guide the dancers through the two-hour show. The show is composed of acts ranging from comedy to drama, which tell the story of Abasto’s fame at the time. There is a lead singer dressed as Gardel, who directs the whole story, and there are several other dance acts, some who dance to just the singer, others to just the orchestra. The costumes are highly detailed, a significant feature as it contributes towards the 30s feel that the place offers.
Esquina Carlos Gardel is an interesting experience for those who already know a bit about tango and the story of Carlos Gardel, and for those who want to learn more about the cultural heritage of Argentina. It is an elegant show that surpasses the Broadway style and creates intimacy and closeness with its audience.
If you're looking for a sophisticated tango show in an authentic tango neighbourhood, paying homage to a tango legend, then the Esquina Carlos Gardel tango show is for you. There are many other tango shows in Buenos Aires catering to different styles and budgets. To help you decide which one is for you, read our guide to choosing your tango show.
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By: Anna Flavia de Castro / Adapted by Nicole Eberhard