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I ATE: New York (eats, streets and the World Trade Center Memorial)

August 8, 2012 by Joan Nova in Restaurant Reviews, Travel, Travel Retrospectives | 13 Comments

Perhaps its because I lived most of my life in NYC, but when I visit now I seem to have a penchant for eating at restaurants that are either new, trendy, ethnic and/or funky-fun. Most of them seem to be in lower Manhattan which suits me well because that’s where I usually am.

Oficina Latina, 24 Prince Street, is a perfect example. It is at once funky, trendy, ethnic and creative. Every place you look, there is a treasure to be found; for example, this little corner in the back where we sat. 

The menu is a celebration of the Pan American Highway with dishes from Monterey, MX to Buenos Aires, Argentina. Although the menu may be based on traditional fare, they are not using their grandmother’s recipes. Everything was tweaked with modernity and creatively presented … though abuela’s (grandma) tableware was definitely put to use.

Sweet potato chips with a spicy (muy caliente) dipping sauce.

We ordered 4 dishes to share: grilled octopus salad (Ecuador) with cilantro dressing on a bed of celery and potato; grilled lamb skewer (Argentina) with tomato and apple; Abrebocas (Colombia) blood sausage and chorizo with baby arepas; and a whole avocado salad.

Every plate was well-executed, flavorful and artfully-presented, like this shared Tres Leches dessert.

I loved Oficina Latina’s creativity and the service was great, the menu had plenty to choose from, the wine selection was good, the decor was amusing and the food was really good. What more can you ask for?

At Tommy Lasagna, another fun spot at 119 East 18 Street, we shared a trio of lasagna and a very delicious osso bucco. The restaurant has a sit-at bar, open kitchen and nice dining room. Check out their happy hour specials.

There seemed to be plethora of Mexican places in NYC that are ‘hot’ these days. Two places that I’ve heard good things about and wanted to try but just couldn’t fit in were La Esquina, Kenmare Street, which serves acclaimed Mexican food in 3 environments: a cafe, a taqueria and a downstairs late night dinner club.

and Tacombi, an open garage-like structure at 267 Elizabeth Street which looked like a fun spot.

And, here’s some very unique-to-New York sights.

The new Geary Building

The Downtown Skyline

The Lady

Water View of World Trade Center Construction

And the Reflecting Pools at World Trade Center Memorial Park beautiful, somber and as painful as that day almost  11 years ago.

We Will Never Forget

NOTE: Some recipes found on FOODalogue are offered without ingredient quantities. They're meant as a guide to food pairings and techniques to be experimented with … in your own kitchen … to your own spice and taste levels … to your preferred portion sizes … and to however many people you’re cooking for. A perfect meal has multiple levels of flavor and textures, bright colors and tastes, and healthy(ish) choices. It's all about enjoyment. Enjoy the process, the presentation and the just rewards...eating!


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  1. I find it fascinating to see where people returning to their old stomping grounds choose to eat. I’m amazed with the selection of Mexican food in NYC. I wouldn’t have been able to resist trying the grilled octopus salad.
    Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen recently posted..In Celebration of Homegrown TomatoesMy Profile

  2. Love all the great pics of the food! Lots of great sights shots, too {especially the lady}. Sad ending but you can’t go to NYC anymore without remembering. It’s a major part of our history now.

    Glad you had a nice time!
    kristy @ the wicked noodle recently posted..prosciutto, peaches & a balsamic glazeMy Profile

  3. I ate NY with you and had a ball. Great post and pics….
    Platanos, Mangoes and Me! recently posted..ROPA VIEJA – OLD CLOTHESMy Profile

  4. I don’t know how you went on this trip without gaining a lot of weight. The food looks so amazing and of course there isn’t a city in the world like New York. Great photos!
    Patricia Durr recently posted..Just Weeds and Water LilliesMy Profile

  5. Love your dining choices. There is no doubt you ate well and had loads of fun!
    A Canadian Foodie recently posted..Ice Bowl with Homemade Ice Cream Balls and Miniature ConesMy Profile

  6. “Funky, trendy, ethnic and creative”,,,you summed up perfectly what I love about these sorts of places. And New York has so many to choose from. Fun post.
    Flavors of the Sun recently posted..The Mysterious FruitMy Profile

  7. Some great spots there. I have not eaten in any of them but you have inspired me to try.. LOv e some of your NYC shots
    mike @ TheCulinaryLens recently posted..Some of My Favorite Things From My Atlantic City Trip 1My Profile

  8. bellini says:

    I still have yet to travel to NY City, although I have been to the State Many, many times. Such a fun place to explore.

  9. I love your travel schedule. I think we are doing NYC either this Fall or this Christmas. Not sure yet. I’ll have to get with you for places. It used to be my old stomping grounds long ago.
    angela@spinachtiger recently posted..Sweet Potato Tacos Three WaysMy Profile

  10. Katie says:

    I love the concept of Oficina Latina, but honestly, I would have been happy eating at any of those spots! I was lucky to eat NY with Norma during my visit in December. You can’t beat the Big Apple when it comes to options for dining out!
    Katie recently posted..Tarta de dulce de membrillo con mascarpone | Quince Paste and Mascarpone TartMy Profile

  11. Lori Lynn says:

    Terrific post Joan. Great images. We. Will. Never. Forget. Your photos of the reflecting pools bring the memory right back, and that’s a good thing.

    Would love to try la oficina one day. Love abuela’s dinnerware too…
    Lori Lynn recently posted..Loup de Mer à la Provençale #CookForJuliaMy Profile

  12. I’m playing “catch up” here…wow! I’ve bookmarked both those places for when I visit NYC next…they sound fantastic. I often find that a city with so many choices can get overwhelming…and thank you!
    Peter G | Souvlaki For The Soul recently posted..Crispy Pork Belly with Cauliflower CouscousMy Profile

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