Don’t let the simple exterior mislead you, this home of South/Central American fare is a place not to be missed. Mix the fashionable interior with an adventurous menu and you get a sophisticated dining experience usually reserved for larger cities.
We were there on a busy Friday and wait-staff met us graciously upon entry and attended to our every wish throughout the evening. Notable was their “synchronized serving” which would do Esther Williams proud. We enjoyed our meal at a leisurely pace and felt no need to rush. Lighting was low and the ambient 40’s big band music was a quiet accompaniment. The television over the corner bar was initially a bit distracting but we soon forgot it was there.
The fried plantain appetizers, provided with every meal, were plentiful and accompanied by the slightly sweet “Pico Paco” and chimichurri sauce. But we knew better than to fill up on those. We sampled the empanada appetizer, which came with a selection of shrimp, chicken and beef. The crust was deliciously tender and they were perfectly seasoned with or without the subtle cilantro cream sauce. Only the beef was a bit dry. Salad greens were fresh and crispy. The balsamic vinaigrette was light and tangy and the blue cheese was rich without heaviness. We chose an Argentine Cabernet from an extensive wine list to accompany our meal.
For the main course, I ordered the evening special of pan-seared red snapper with lump crabmeat and my companion selected the NY strip from among the two dozen choices. The snapper was perfectly done and complemented by a lemon butter sauce. The deliciously tender NY strip was grilled to medium-rare perfection. Both entrees were accompanied by the best scalloped potatoes we have enjoyed for some time, and a crisp-tender medley of fresh sautéed vegetables. Of course we had to complete the meal with a serving of classic Tres Leches cake, with texture that held up well to the milky sauce. We topped it all off with a dessert special, the “Paco Freeze”, a creamy cold concoction with walnut liqueur and creme de cacao.
Servings are quite generous so order carefully. Shared dishes add a $4 charge. Be aware that there is a dress code (no shorts, tank tops, or baseball caps) and reservations are strongly recommended.