A couple weeks ago, Calle Ocho, an Upper West side New York City restaurant, organized a tasting for New York City food bloggers. I’m still dreaming about the Bacon Wrapped Almond Stuffed Dates. The Cured Salmon, Aji Amarillo, Sour Orange and Pineapple ceviche lingers in my mind. Their Colombian Sweet Corn Arepa reminds me of an airy version of my Grandmother’s hot-water corn cakes.
(1) Beautiful artwork at the entrance/bar area (2.) Addictive mildly sweet rolls served in cigar boxes (3.) A refreshing glass of mojito (4.) Cured Salmon, Aji Amarillo, Sour Orange, Pineapple Ceviche (5.) Chef Alex García (6.) Colombian Sweet Corn Arepa, Ropa Viega, Creama Nata, Criolla Salad (7.) Marinated Aji Tuna, Ginger,Cilantro, Mustard Vinaigrette (8.) Red wine tasting (9.) Bacon Wrapped Almond Stuffed Dates, Hearts of Palm, Cabrales (10.) Roasted Striped Bass, Serrano Ham-Chickpea, Roasted Pepper Sauce (11.) Cindy of ChubbyChineseGirl.com (12.) Cuban Style “Steak Frites”, Traditional Chimichurri (13.) The ladies behind BrunchineeNYC.blogspot.com (14.) Dark Chocolate Cake, Dulce de Leche Ice Cream
Calle Ocho is a fusion of Cuban, Peruvian, Dominican, Spanish, Venezuelan and Costa Rican cuisines. It originally opened in 1988 at 446 Columbus Avenue by Chefs Alex Garcia and Rodney Mitchell. It quickly became known for their weekend brunch that apparently requires reservations weeks in advance.
In July 2011, Calle Ocho reopened inside the Excelsior Hotel on 81st street, across the street from the American Museum of Natural History. At my table, the ladies of BrunchineeNYC.blogspot.com gave me a brief history of Calle Ocho (they’re regulars who remember Calle Ocho’s previous address). The paintings in the restaurant are collages from the previous location. They have eight different Sangrias. The Tropical White Sangria has mango, pineapple, lemongrass, passion fruit and rum. The Mulata Red Sangria has tamarind, vanilla and spice dark rum. Their wine list represents Spain, Argentina, Uruguay and Chile. Also, did I mention I met Cindy of ChubbyChineseGirl.com and Andrea Chan of HighLowFoodDrink.com? It’s always good to see Jackie of “The Diva Who Ate New York”.
Chef Alex Garcia prepared a variety of dishes representing what Calle Ocho offers. I’m definitely looking forward to returning soon to try their other dishes such as the Sweet Corn, Shrimp Enchilado, Goat Cheese and Pumpkin Seed Pesto; Duck Two-Ways, Lentil-Sweet Plantain Salad and Valencia Orange Sauce; and their Paella with lobster, Mussels, Clams, Shrimp, Chorizo, Chicken and Valencia Rice served with Tomato-Calamari Salad. Of course, the Bacon Wrapped Almond Stuffed Dates always call my name.
Stay up-to-date with yummy, new food posts from My Life Runs On Food via email. Subscribe today!