Friday, September 23, 2011

Old Favorite Calle Ocho Re-Opens with New Offerings

The popular Latin infused Calle Ocho Restaurant, known for their potent sangria and authentic menu, has relocated to a new, sexier location on the Upper West Side.   Last week, bloggers were invited for a private press dinner to sample new menu items and enjoy old favorites.
The ceviche plate was delightful to start.  Cured Salmon (aji amarillo, sour orange, pineapple) melted like butter at the tip of your tongue.  The citrus bursts played flawlessly against the fresh flavor of the fatty salmon.  A bit of a bite from the Aji Amarillo dressing gave it a Latin kick.  Marinated Aji Tuna (ginger, cilantro, mustard vinaigrette) was served alongside, which balanced out the sweetness of the salmon with more savory notes.
Bacon Wrapped Almond Stuffed Dates were served next.  Smokey bacon with a good crisp crunch paired like a love match with the sweetness of the soft date.  Who doesn’t want salty, creamy, and sweet in one bite?
Sweet Corn Arepa (Ropa Vieja, Crema Nata, Criolla Salad), a traditional Colombian dish, served as another blend of  salty-sweetness in this five course menu.  The marinated shredded steak was tenderly cooked.  This would be a great fall comfort food, enjoying it in large quantities, of course.
The Roasted Stripped Bass (Serrano ham, chick peas, roasted pepper sauce) was light, with a seriously planned out sauce.   Seafood lovers should make sure this is a must-order.
For the meat-lovers try Cuban Style “Steal Frites” with traditional chimichurri.  Cooked medium rare, this steak was fantastic.
Got a desire for chocolate?  The Dark Chocolate Cake with Dulce de Leche Ice Cream is light and fluffy, not a heavy dessert to end your meal right.

As mentioned early, the sangria is serious at Calle Ocho.  Red wine (burgundy) is mixed with brandy, ginger ale, triple sec, and vodka, then fruit soaked by apples, oranges, lemons, and limes to create a love potion like no other.  Even one glass will have you giving your date googley eyes or will send your best girlfriends into a texting frenzy with their ex’s.  Visit Calle Ocho for a satisfying dinner or a boozy brunch soon! xo
Calle Ocho.  45 West 81st Street (inside the Excelsior Hotel)

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