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Calle Ocho: Latin Experience on the Upper West Side
This restaurant is a favorite of my dad's. He turned me on to pitchers of the wonderful Brazilian cocktail- caipirinha - here. We have had many a group outings to this restaurant over the years.
The scene is Buena Vista Social Clubbers with a yen for fun. The interior space features copper walls, whitewashed wood ceilings and dramatic black steel accents.
A protegy of Chicama's Douglas Rodriguez, chef Alex Garcia was in on the Nuevo Latino craze at the very beginning. He established a high-design beachhead in a precinct full of humble Chino-Latino lunch counters, thus enabling thirsty denizens to wash down their rice and beans with minty mojitos. Now with consulting chef Douglas Rodriguez stirring the pots, this kitchen's undergone a remarkable renaissance.
Favorite Dish: The Nuevo Latino menu focuses on the flavors and textures of Latin America. Be sure to try a great brazilian cocktail - the caipirinha.
Dinner: Mon.- Thurs.: 6:00pm -11:00pm
Fri.: 6:00pm - 12:00am
Sat: 5:00pm - 12:00am
Sun: 5:00pm - 10:00pm
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Calle Ocho: Fun Latin in UWS
The place is pretty hip, especially in the gentrified section of the UWS. It's Nuevo Latino -- specializing in Cuban -- but I am not an expert on either Cuban or NL -- so I will trust the menu and their website. All in all, it was a fun experience and I would definitely go back.
Favorite Dish: My friend and I shared their "Gallitos" (Platter of Traditional Costa Rican Soft Tacos with Grilled Beef, Shrimp Enchilado & Chipotle Chicken (serves two) - and both of us really loved the marinade of the chicken -- so soft and tender. Also, we devoured their bread, some kind of Portuguese influence?
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