based on a chowhound query I took 4 friends to Platanos tonight. None of us had been.
First had a very strange transaction on the phone with someone who could not pronounce my name, at all, even after a few spellings of it. (two syllables, rhymes with a popular fish) For a party of 5 she wanted a credit card #. This surprised me, but I did it, the reservation was in 1 1/2 hours at this point.
None of the entrees looked appealing enough so we had a co mingling of apps:
hearts of palm salad-- this was a salad with a few slices of HOP, not what any of us expected. vinaigrette was sposed to be tamarind but did not speak up as one in the mouth.
mariquitas--fried plantain chips
sweet plantains with crema-- I loved this. Plantains were cooked perfectly, not oily, were picked ripe, and the sauce was the perfect foil. Many were surprised that they liked it as much as they did.
empanaditas-- 1 order corn, one order chicken
Everyone loved the chicken! It reminded me of a bastilla. sweetish & cinnamony, with a lightly dill sauce, so light that until I stuck my finger in it I did not know the herb. The corn was not assertive enough with any of its ingredients. no excuse, now that we are in peak corn season. Many commented that there needed to be heat in the seasoning. the sauce was like many of the others, based in sour cream or some such, but reddish with chili powder. could have been more bold.
Many had the lime & chicken soup for their main. very nice, obviously good homemade stock, but nothing to write home about. The tortillas that came with it were freshly made and splendid though.
I had the ceviche. fish and scallops. nice presentation, if maybe a little too 80's for me, in a martini glass with plantain chips sticking out. But wayy too acidic even for me! (this is hard to do) And odd because as a non alcohol drinker I had the house made limeade and it was so sweet I wondered where the lime had run off to.
We all shared the spicy chocolate cake. the most redeeming factor was that a friend S. and i noticed that the chili powder in it tasted like it had been ground fresh. But I really did not like the texture. Too much like sticky fudge, not really like cake.
It surprised me that I did not like the desserts. Once Melanie went here and wrote and wrote all kinds of transcendental things about dessert. Maybe that person is gone...
Service was a little lacking. not for not trying, but we were ignored after we inhaled the first wave of food and beverages.
Ambiance was nice, I love the fan and the color of the walls. it is less expensive than Alma, but I will save sheckels to eat at Alma before I go here again. It was not awful, but no place to be excited to return to.
Thanks for all the quick responses!