(See the end of this post for what is going on with this series)
Our first NewYork experience that I want to share with you was dinner at a Latin (Cuban) restaurant called Ideya, on West Broadway in SoHo. We were sent there by the concierge at our hotel, the Tribeca Grand. A concierge who actually sends you to good places to eat is all too rare, so props to her.
In this case, Ideya was very good. The restaurants in this part of SoHo all appear to have a quite Parisian feel, open to the street, long and narrow, with small tables so closely placed that the patrons sometimes jostle elbows. I’d never tolerate this in most cities, but here in New York, as in Paris, it not only works, it feels vibrant and alive. The staff is small, but efficient and pleasant.
The food was very good. We chose to pass on entrees and just had several appetizers. I hesitate to say we ate tapas-style, since that implies “small plates”, and these plates were so huge as to overwhelm the small table.
We had a vegetable patty dish wrapped in pastry that was very nice, though I thought the wrapping was a little thick. Next, a broiled shrimp plate with an exceptional salad. I was impressed with the texture of the shrimp, especially for a restaurant this far from real shrimp country. And best of all, a chicken dish, Pupusa de Pollo, that was just flat delicious.
Of course, I’d not be writing about the place, unless there were also some tasty drinks. I never talked to the bartender, but they know how to do things right, from what I saw. I had a pretty good Pisco Sour whose foam held up really well. Maggi had a really delicious drink that I will have to reverse engineer for her when we get home. Ideya calls it a Ginger Swizzle, making it with house-infused ginger vodka, fresh lime juice, ginger syrup, and soda.
We finished with a Chocolate Mojito for dessert. While a lot of folks will like this sucker just fine, thank you, I think that they need to either use a more funky, flavorful rum, or perhaps even muddle in a thin slice of jalapeño with the mint to balance the flavors out. Regardless, it looks great on the table, and really appeals to the Cosmo-drinking set.
The rest of the cocktail menu was a pleasant mix of familiar classics and house inventions. If you vacation here, or if you live nearby, it’s a menu worth exploring. We really enjoyed it.
The Summer New York Adventure is the first truly kid-free vacation Maggi and I have taken since, well, we’ve had kids. By day, we’ll be exploring Manhattan’s Garment District, buying fabric for Maggi’s coture workings, and by night we shall explore the SoHo dining and drinking offerings, which should give me some of the best material to blog about in a good long while! Cheers!