We have returned to this restaurant many times over the years and the quality has not declined. Now in the Excelsior Hotel on 81st Street just opposite the Museum of Natural History,
This is Nuevo Latino cooking, which brings together dishes from throughout the Americas and the Spanish-speaking world, so expect a wide variety with something for everyone, including those who, like me, tend to avoid food with, as they say, some heat in it.
They first bring you these delicious little cheesy buns–I forget what they’re called but I defy anyone to eat only one.
The appetizers are at least as interesting as the main courses, with no duds.You can begin with one of seven ceviches including lobster, octopus and red snapper or try a sampler of four. Our friends started with the Arepa,
On to the main courses–while our friends worked on one of my favorites, the enormous Cuban style “Steak Frites” with fried yucca instead of potatoes, nice and crisp with plenty of carbs,
These were all great but the end was the best. Too often, even in good restaurants, the desserts are outsourced, but at Calle Ocho, they serve first class home made desserts, the sign of an eatery with ambitions. And what desserts they were.
While the dark chocolate Domino cake with dulce de leche ice cream
Appetizers run in the low $teens, main courses in the $20s, and desserts about $8. If you get a deal from one of the coupon sellers, as we did, you can make out like a bandit but will probably end up eating too much. Truthfully, the portions are so large, you don’t need to order three courses although it was loads of fun.