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.
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.
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.