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By: Ginger Dingus

You’ve heard about San Francisco’s latest food-on-the-go fad, a.k.a. food trucks. But, do you know about the upmarket version – Colectivo Felix? It’s a gourmet restaurant on the move, arriving in the Bay Area all the way from Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Colectivo Felix is an intriguing concept. Back in Buenos Aires, chef Diego Felix and his American wife Sanra open their home to about 15 dinner guests three nights a week. While on the road for a few months each year, the couple tours the U.S., cooking intimate dinners in private homes or at friendly small restaurants.

As each meal unfolds, the relaxed atmosphere quickly leads to amazing conversations between strangers. You might call it an underground dinner party or a sweet secret shared between new friends.

We met Diego and Sanra at the recently opened Pause Wine Bar in San Francisco. The cozy back room proved to be an ideal spot for 20 guests to gather. The young couple seated across from us had dined at Casa Felix in Buenos Aires not once, but twice during their own travels. Other guests were either dreaming of South American vacations, were friends, or even friends of friends.
When it comes to cooking skills, Diego Felix is extremely creative in his use of fresh local ingredients, especially herbs. His menu is pescaterian, meaning vegetarian with fish. There’s nothing unusual about that in California, but in beef-hearty Argentina, it’s a bold step for a restaurant to take.

At Pause, our four-course dinner was all about fresh California ingredients prepared by Diego with an Argentine or Peruvian twist. The appetizer, for example, was a Point Reyes Toma cheese corn puff on fresh greens with a vanilla and kumquat vinaigrette. The meal was paired with excellent Algodon wines from the Mendoza region of Argentina.

San Francisco residents can contact Colectivo Felix through their website. You may decide to try Diego’s delicious dishes here, then fly to Buenos Aires from SFO on LAN Airlines. We’re looking forward to checking out the Buenos Aires restaurant when we stop in town before our next South American cruise. Buenos Aires is an embarkation port for cruise ships, and seeing Sanra and Diego again will be a special treat.

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