March 17th, 2011. Hola, Calle Ocho~
Well, my day had been pretty jam packed walking all over the Soho & Tribeca hoods. I was looking forward to just kicking back and getting some food in my belly Aaron had just run into some old co-workers at Calle Ocho the other day who invited us back so we travelled all the way up to the Upper West Side for some light grub.
The space is really spectacular with a smaller intimate lounge setting in the front and then opening up to a much larger colorful room towards the rear. The energy was high, music was loud and energetic and people were being very happy 😉
We went with the Picada, which is the Chef’s choice of assorted appetizers.
Lobster Empanadas. I appreciated that the filling was hot when we cut through the empanada. The lobster flavor wasn’t as strong as I’d have liked, but over-all a satisfying bite.
Datiles: bacon wrapped almond stuffed dates atop a “slaw” of hearts of palm and cabrales. These were delicious!! The syrupy-sweetness of the dates, nuttiness of the almonds all wrapped up in wonderful bacon….I wanted it all to myself~!
Camarones: Puerto Rican rum glazed shrimp atop an avocado salad in a crispy onion ring. Fun presentation! The shrimp was a bit overcooked, but the whole thing had great flavor and was fun to eat. And the shrimp were a pretty decent size. I still say it was a “yum”.
The Chicarron were pure genious. Crispy calamari, Dominican honey, and crushed cashews served with an organic sprout salad. These were so amazingly full of flavor, great textures, and was the perfect balance. I loved it!
Ceviche Fresco: rock shrimp, grilled tomato, rocoto pepper and a citrus juice. I’ve really been loving ceviches and this one was also pretty good. The tomatos brought a softness, the citrus was tart and there was a good level of heat. Another good one!
Calle Ocho was such a fun place. The staff are super nice and actually seem to enjoy being there, the food is playful and fun to eat, and the vibe is electric! I’d come back for more fun 😀