I have been wanting to try this new restaurant that has recently opened in my neighborhood. Yesterday it came the opportunity. I went with friends we were 9 altogether and they were able to easily accommodate us without reservation.
The food draws influence from the cuisine of Cuba, Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. I was told that the chef is Dominican and had his training in a culinary school and in restaurants of Madrid and Barcelona.
The location is not the most pleasant 96th and Second Ave., with the windows opened to 96th street (a very busy street). But inside the place is charming, casual and pleasant. The waiter staff is very young but very friendly and attentive.
I found the food good - a very good addition to the neighborhood. We didnt have appetizers and went directly to the entrees. I had the sea bass special with blueberry vinaigrette and mofongo (mashed plantains). The fish was good (a bit oily) and I enjoyed the very, very garlicky mofongo. I was happy with my dish. Three of my friends had the pollo al ajillo (chicken with garlic sauce). I didnt taste it but they were all very happy with their choice. Another friend had the pollo asado with maduros. The dish had a very nice presentation and I tasted the maduros and they were quite good. But a friend said that the pollo al ajillo was better The two rice dishes ordered: arroz con pollo and the arroz pescador (seafood rice) looked quite good. I tasted the seafood one and I liked it. A friend ordered the green salad with cheese empanadas and another ordered the tulipanes de pimientos del piquillo (piquillo pepper yulips stuffed with shrimp in a chardonnay sauce very nicely presented) and they were very happy with their choice, but I didnt taste them.
Unfortunately they were out of their cheese flan (I was very curious to try!) and of their regular flan. We skipped desert. The bill with 2 pitchers of sangria (one red, one white I liked the red better), tax and tip was $244. Not bad for 9 people