Saturday, November 11, 2006

Unassuming AZUCAR is cool & Cuban at its best (NYC)

Tonight's dinner at AZUCAR ( right after a pretty boring play on Broadway was the perfect way to meet a friend for dinner halfway between Times Square & Lincoln Center. I have written about Azucar before, but tonight was the best meal I have ever had there. The glass of NIETO SENETINO Chardonnay Reserve from Argentina that I started with was the only thing that was a bit too acidic for my taste; I should have had the superb WHITE SANGRIA!

The fresh CEVICHE MIXTO had huge marinated rings of calamari, bay scallops, shrimp, fish and a pickled pimento on top for flavor. All the tapas are so good it is hard to decide, but always include the CHORIZO SALEADO con MARIQUITAS which are richly sauteed sausage slices with fried plantains. At this point we ordered a bottle of the always yummy FELIPE RUTINI 2004 MALBEC from Argentina. At $38, this is a NY City bargain for wine and shouldn't be overlooked when the mediocre wines offered are just $30-32!

We both ordered one of the best entrees ever at Azucar: CHURRASCO CON CHIMICHURRI with POTATO SALAD. The Grilled Skirt steak was a tender long strip and must have been at least 10 ounces; on the side was a small bowl of the most flavorful thickish chimichurri sauce ever. I am so glad it was not one of those wimpy thin sauces one often gets. The huge portion of delicious potato salad was the perfect foil to the sometimes spice/garlic in the sauce, and the Malbec went down right after so smoothly, we were both in heaven.

It's a shame the opera afterwards and the play beforehand were not as enjoyable!