Bought the book. Here's where and what we ate:
Moustache Pitza lunch:
Lentil bulgar salad with fried onions was delicious, if a bit dry. Wanted more of the onions.
Hummus was good and very different from the places out here. Lemony and tahiniey, but not very garlicky. The pita bread with was outstanding.
Chicken pitza was good with complete rounded balanced flavors. Lemony, garlicky, sweet peppery. Some sort of dried fruit. Moist chicken. Good crisp crust.
The drink that Jim says tastes of furniture polish was oddly compelling.
All in all, good meal, not overly memorable.
The menu was rather limited. No tacu tacu or ceviche. I really wanted ceviche. They were very nice, though not particularly friendly. The place had a very good vibe. The customers seemed to be regulars and seemed to be having a great time.
I've had this dish with potatoes and other vegetables (like beets) This version was all about potatoes with a little egg. I like the sauce a little spicier, but it was good.
This is a dish that I wanted to buy a ton of and take on the plane with me. Should have. It was killer. Stuffed with flavorful ground meat and hard boiled egg and raisins, and all wrapped up in fluffy yummy potato. I want some more now!
Merely OK. I've had better versions.
We had two fish dishes:
One had tender calamari, cod??, and shrimp in a creamy pinkish sauce. Maybe a reduced fish stock? Good perfectly cooked fish. Pretty salty.
The other was the same white fish fried with a bright yellow chunky garlic sauce. Delish and very garlicky, almost harsh, and again, pretty salty.
The purple corn drink was wonderful and great with the food.
The menu had little price stickers stuck over the old prices. It looked like everything had recently gone from 8 to 12 dollars. It was worth the money anyway.
Cafe Con Leche:
Loved the updated diner atmosphere. The rum/sugar cane cocktails were delicious and potent.
The black bean soup was great and balanced with cilantro. Very flavorful. A squeeze of lime put it just right, but I kept wanting to avoid the too numerous raw red onions. Fewer would have been great.
Roast Pork. This was the winner. Thin juicy slices. Yum!! I'm a fat picky person, but found myself cutting off the fat and then eating it anyway.
Chicken Chiccerones: What can I say? Great fried chicken. Love thighs. Just as delicious the next night at 1:00 AM out of the mini bar fridge.
The black beans and red rice were so delicious we finished them even with all that great meat. Waitress said they were spicy and they weren't but, oh well. Still yummy.
The only clunker: Fried plantains. Not ripe and sweet at all, but hard.
The waitress was very nice and friendly and the service great. This place should have been busier than it was.
Sadly, only hubby made it here not me, as he said it was most memorable. He had the Pernil Asado. He was wowed by the giant plate of shreddy pork that would feed two with the melt in your mouth pink beans and plain white rice. He said they were standoffish until he ate his whole plate, tipped and started speaking Spanish, then they were quite nice.
Our one more expensive dinner not in the book:
The Tasting Room:
Wonderful innovative yet simple food. Very nice down to earth staff and owners. Fair prices. Great service. Beautiful tiny tasteful room. Young seemingly food serious crowd. Standouts: Lamb carpaccio with tiny cucumber balls, mint, and creme fraiche, Rabbit, Squab. Extensive mostly California wine list.
Random notes not in book:
Cuban sandwiches on 8th Ave somewhere in Chelsea around 14 or 15. Don't know a good Cuban sandwich from my a__. Thought they tasted good though. Don't know the name. Sign says "Best Cuban Sandwiches" Charming diner counter. Great to walk around with on our way to the next watering hole. Good and garlicky.
Why oh why don't we have Utz potato chips on the left coast? The closest thing here is Lay's classic. Not close. It's hard to find anything here without awful fake flavoring agents. Are you east coasters more purist when it comes to potato chips?
See Queens board for reports on Sriprabhai and The Arepa Lady.
Thanks for the tips Jim. We felt well equipped and taken care of during the whole trip. Our friend who is new to NY will cherish the book.