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Argentine photo exhibit and cuisine at Washington's Sofitel Hotel was muy bueno

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On St. Patrick's Day, the French hotel Sofitel in Washington began celebrating Argentina.

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Hotel Sofitel Washington DC Lafayette Square on March 17 began "Argentina Through Flavors & Sceneries" in the hotel's iCi Urban Bistro.

And March 18, the bistro was filled with sultry tango music by Claudia Gargiulo, backed by bandoneon, double bass, and guitar, plus seductive tango dancing by René Davila and Andrea Moragues of Tango Brillante DC.

An exhibit "Deep Silence" by Argentine photographer Marcos Furer of his native, untouched landscapes, is combined with cuisine prepared by Sofitel Buenos Aires Arroyo chef Olivier Falchi in collaboration with iCi Urban Bistro executive chef Franck Loquet.

Selections include beef empanadas and dulce de leche pot de crème on the lunch menu, and duo of lamb or sea trout carpaccio; chimichurri, espuma de humita and chipa; and goat cheese and dulce de leche mousse on the dinner menu.

Furer's exquisite photos depict Patagonian shepherds leading thousands of sheep; a solitary "Tree of Life" against an enormous, threatening cloud-filled sky; overlapping Andes Mountains; a waterfall "Guarani Weep"...

The images "capture the very essence of each place, our country, and our people -- away from the noisy modern world," "Deep Silence" exhibit curator Javier Ortiz Aramburu told me. "It's a world that's vanishing."

"Deep Silence" will tour Brussels, Luxembourg, and Berlin, then return to Washington and New York City in November. The unique, large-scale photos range from $1,500 to $2,500.

The images and the delicacies inspire guests to book the next flight to Argentina, or book a reservation at iCi Urban Bistro.

"Argentina Through Flavors & Sceneries" continues through March 22.

For more info: Hotel Sofitel Washington DC Lafayette Square, 806 15th Street N.W., Washington, D.C. 202-730-8800. iCi Urban Bistro, 202-730-8701. René Davila teaches tango on Sunday evenings at Glen Echo Park, Glen Echo, Maryland. Tango singer, mezzo-soprano Claudia Gargiulo, "Deep Silence" photographs by Marcos Furer.