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Restaurants & Bars

Red Hook vendor opens Sunset Park restaurant!!!

francesb | Mar 21, 200906:39 PM     12

In 2006, the NY Times wrote an article about Lourdes Pena, vendor of Mexican food at the Red Hook soccer fields (full disclosure: She lives downstairs from me). This weekend, she and her husband opened Casa Vieja, at 60-07 5th Ave in Sunset Park (between 60th and 61st). In addition to the experience she brings, her husband cooked for many years at some upscale Mexican place--Rosa Mexicana, maybe? Can't remember. Anyway, we ate there tonight. Fresh guacamole ($8), cazuela de mariscos ($13)(shrimp, scallops, mussels and clams in a tomato/chipotle broth), enchiladas verde ($6), and pozole ($8).

Holy eff, the food was good. Scallops were seared before going into the broth, shellfish cooked perfectly, elegant radish dice in the pozole, bright tasting salsa verde. The dessert menu isn't available yet, but they promise platanos flameados con ron. And, in three months or so, they'll be serving beer and wine. Service kinks will be worked out, I'm sure. Servers speak English, if you need that. There was a five-piece mariachi band, but I'm not sure if that was just for the opening weekend.

They don't have a take-out menu yet, and I didn't take notes so i can't tell you everything that they have, but it's definitely a bit upscale for Sunset Park. Yes, they have antojitos and fajitas (which smelled amazing). But they also have a number of seafood entrees that hover at $20 (nothing went over), and are of the more "new" mexican type. I wish I'd taken notes. Sorry. If I go back tomorrow AM for french toast, I'll do so.

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