Martin Fierro is an epic Argentine poem describing the contribution of the gaucho, or the cowboy, to the development of Argentina in the late 19th century.
In contemporary Naples, FL, Martin Fierro is an Argentine steak house, primarily a parrilla, or barbecue restaurant. It is different in a sense that they use wood, and very different wood than most to grill their meats. Besides the usual Florida Oak, they combined this with wood from the Quebracho tree, an extremely hard Spanish wood that imparts a very unique flavor. Quebracho is derived from the term “axe-breaker”.
The interior of the restaurant is long, narrow and humble, but very accommodating. There are outside dining options as well.
My dining companion and I decided to try the sample approach here, and were pleased to find out there was no split charge. After a nice basket of bread and Chimichurri sauce, which is a very pleasant amalgam of parsley, garlic, oil, oregano and vinegar, we wanted to sample their ham and cheese empanada. It was unremarkable, but served with a homogenized Chimichurri sauce which was this dish’s saving grace.
We finished with the parrilladas portion of the menu, de rigueur for the carnivore and/or the Argentine diner. We ordered the meat lover portion consisting of Churrasco steak, short rib, pork chop, chicken breast and chorizo. It was excellent and served with mixed vegetables in a balsamic glaze with fried yucca.
They love balsamic reductions and they work well; the mixed vegetables were one of the best parts of the meal. The portions in the meat lover’s plate, in addition to the 2 sides, are easily enough for two if not three. We even had leftovers which in my dining experiences is unheard of.
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