The Particular weekend we chose happen to be the restaurant’s first. We know that checking out a new place could be the kiss of death for a diner, but it is also thrilling. It appears that we are adventure seekers.
When we arrived the place was crazy busy! We were told that we would have to wait for an hour and twenty minutes, so like all patient food obsessed spaniards/brooklynites do is wait it our over a drink or two. The drinks were complex and because of this took the very friendly bartender a while to meticulously craft them. The wait for the cocktails were worth it. Jose and Nacho found the Pisco sour quite flavorful and Sandra and I fell in love with this other pisco drink (sadly, I can’t recall the name) that seemed to have at least 5 ingredients one of which was cucumber. It was fresh and so tasty that it was hard to just drink 1, so we drank 2.
After a good 1.5 hours of drinking pisco cocktails our table opened up and were escorted up the stairs to our table. The sound levels upstairs were off the charts. It was incredibly difficult to hear what was said across the table, all I could hear was the Miami sound machine-like latin beats. (Perhaps if it was earlier I would have been more patient, regardless I think they need to turn the volume down i bit)
So the Spaniards took care of ordering the wine, and of course decided upon a nice spanish wine, a bottle that just so happened to be out of stock (how is this possible the 5th day into service?)This frustrated us a bit but we refocused and moved on to the dense food list.
We ordered an assortment of ceviches and then a main course for each of us. This was way too much food! Clearly we haven’t learned much from most of our dinners out, we always order too much. The Ceviches were all so flavorful and light. We should have skipped the main dishes and ordered more delicacies from the sea cause the entrees were very heavy and left us all feeling full and tired. If you do land at la mar and find yourself very hungry do go for the Lomo skip and the pork belly. The pork belly was crispy and good on the outside but a bit dry on the inside.
The desserts were unnecessary as were the main courses, but they were non the less delicious! If you are a chocolate lover you have to order the Trufa de chocolate. AMAZING!!!!
Overall the food was very good for a restaurants in its first week. Go for the ceviches! Next time I will order the pulpo or ceviche for my main dish and skip the heavy entrees.
As for the environment, the space is a little on the cheesey/themey side for me. (getting the eighties references here?) They could have gone a festive/sea inspired route without loosing the elegance that every fine dining restaurant should have.
As much as I enjoyed the night, it was hard for me to stay still, there was a part of me that wanted to slip away and join the party that was going on at Eleven Madison Park. I think anyone so close to this foodie beacon would have this problem.
Cocktails- Pisco Sour
Crispy fish belly, octopus, sweet shrimp, calamari, yucca, plantains and cancha with an ensalada chalaca. 16.00
Hamachi, green mango, peanuts, pickled vegetables and wontons in a sesame leche de tigre. 19.00
Roasted Berkshire pork belly, stuffed pig trotter, rocoto and morcilla caneloni, adobo reduction and a lima bean broth. 32.00
Smoked Spanish day-boat octopus, anticucho jus, potato cream, olive foam and garlic crisps. 16 .00
Wok sautéed certified angus hangar steak, onions, tomatoes, scallions, fried quail egg and organic french fries with a side of arroz con choclo. 27.00
Guava with a quinoa pudding and hazlenut ice cream 10.00
Peruvian fritters with banana purée, spiced chancaca honey 9.00
Trufas de chocolate
Buñuelos filled with ganache, lemongrass ice cream, orange reduction 9.00
La Mar Cebicheria11 Madison Ave
(between 23rd St & 24th St)
Manhattan, NY 10010