There’s a new, Argentinian-style steak house sizzling on Restaurant Row, with cuisine curated by a Hell’s Kitchen chef already well-known for his grilled specialties. 

Chef Carlos cooking
Chef Carlos Barroz of Hell’s Kitchen La Pulperia will head up Palermo’s steak program. Photo: Naty Caez

Palermo Argentinian Bistro takes over the spot previously occupied by Hourglass Tavern, Bettibar, and Hourglass Bistro on W46th Street near the western end of Restaurant Row, in a historic building now for sale by Hourglass’s operators, the Sideris family.

The new restaurant specializes in Argentinian-style steak dishes, known for their unique, slow-cook, open-fire method of barbecuing called asado, as well as a comprehensive raw bar of oysters, ceviche and tuna crudo, traditional corn and beef empanadas and mollejas (fried sweetbreads).

For those looking for a tasting menu-style experience, there’s a generous mixed grill prix-fixe for two, which includes skirt steak, sirloin, short ribs, sweetbread, chicken, chorizo, morcilla, chimichurri, salsa criolla and a choice of two sides. The steakhouse will also incorporate local ingredients, sourcing its choice cuts of meat from the nearby, century-old Piccinini Brothers butchers.

Palermo’s opening signals the closure of the historic Hourglass Tavern, a favorite haunt in New York’s Theater District and Hell’s Kitchen. The Hourglass Tavern had a rich history stretching back to 1983, when it first opened as the Hourglass Cafe. It was most recently reopened and run by John Sideris in September 2021 as the Hourglass Bistro. John’s father, Christos, who bought the property in 1972, later managed the establishment with his wife, Tina, starting in 1992. The duo became well-known for their fixed-price menu that catered to the pre-theater crowd — and even attracted royalty, with Christos having the honor of cooking for the likes of Princess Diana and the Sultan of Brunei. Up until the pandemic, the Hourglass Tavern was under the stewardship of Beth Sheinis and Josh Toth, who, despite their popularity, were forced to close the establishment in September 2020.

662 9th Avenue, up for sale for $26 million
Hourglass’s “Sister buildings” 662 9th Avenue and 373 W46th Street (to its right) are on the market for the first time since 1973, having appreciated in value from $77,000 to an asking price of over $23 million. Photo: Phil O’Brien

The new eatery features dining rooms and bars on the first and second floors as well as a private event space on the third floor, and will be operated by longtime restaurateur Orhan Cakir of Gramercy’s Pierre Loti, a Mediterranean wine and tapas bar and Chef Carlos Barroz, formerly of the popular nearby Latin fusion cafe La Pulperia and its adjacent cocktail bar, NxtRoom. NxtRoom’s beverage director, Daniel Villanueva, will helm the steakhouse’s cocktail program, while Orhan, also a sommelier of over 20 years, will assemble the wine program. 

“The location has many restaurants but no casual Argentinian-style steakhouse restaurant within the block,” wrote Orhan in the restaurant’s Manhattan Community Board 4 liquor license application. “My food concept of Argentinean style grilled steakhouse plates, select seafood dishes such as trout with mushrooms, octopus or raw tuna crudo and grilled foods will combine classic and popular South American dishes that pair well with alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages and will be popular with business clientele, local residents and tourists.”

Chef Carlos is originally from Argentina, and opening Palermo is a chance to return to his cooking roots — he learned to cook traditional Argentine dishes from his family and trained in butchery under his grandfather. “While the menu items are not family recipes, they’re dishes that all Argentinian people know — like how to barbecue,” said Carlos. “Everything on the menu is the way we cook, the way we season the meat, all of the traditional techniques — but in this case, I’m taking those dishes and making them a little more upscale, adding my own touch to every dish.”

Chef Carlos also relishes bringing both Italian and Spanish flavors to Argentinian cuisine, as reflected in the restaurants offerings of Tagliatelle and Tortilla de Papas. “There is a lot of European influence in Argentinian cuisine — mostly Spanish and Italian,” he said, adding: “After 11 years at La Pulperia, I don’t know why I never opened an Argentinian restaurant before, but honestly the reason we decided to open was because there are not a lot of Argentinian restaurants in this area — most of them are in Queens.”

steak at Palermo
Palermo specializes in asado-cooked Argentinian-style steaks and grilled meats, courtesy of Chef Carlos. Photo supplied

Since moving to New York in 2001, Chef Carlos has worked in restaurants ranging from Italian bistro to Thai cafe to Hawaiian restaurant before opening Quahog’s Seafood Shack and Bar in 2008. After launching the popular South Jersey seafood restaurant, he helped open Hell’s Kitchen’s La Pulperia in 2013, where he still maintains a presence. “I will still be there from time to time to check in, but I hired some amazing chefs and for now I’m here every day until this baby starts running itself!”

Co-founder Orhan said Palermo’s menu is a high-quality, affordable option for pre-theater goers and locals. “My menu is reasonably priced and suited to the tastes of local residents, business clients and tourists,” he wrote.

“We are a few blocks from Times Square and even though it’s still a tourist area, most of our clientele are locals,” said Chef Carlos. “People know us from La Pulperia — we’ve been here for a long time — and we’re hoping people start coming to Palermo to see the new concept. I’m looking forward to showing them more about Argentinian cuisine.”

Chef Carlos
Chef Carlos Barroz looks forward to bringing traditional Argentinian fare to the neighborhood. Photo: Naty Caez

Palermo Argentinian Bistro is located at 373 W46th Street between 8/9th Avenue and is open Tuesday through Thursday 5pm to 11pm and Friday/Saturday 5pm to 12am. 

Join the Conversation


  1. Chef Carlos,me llamo Marta y soy de Mendoza,Argentina.Vine a NYC en 1958. Mi querido padre fue chef de varios restaurants acá.Le deseo mucha suerte en su nuevo restaurant Argentino!!

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