Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Tuesday Nights: La Cerveceria

Towards the end of  one year, my friends thought that we weren't hanging out enough. It's true, we weren't. So they started Tuesday night get-togethers. Every Tuesday, we'll pick a bar to drink, eat, and hang out for a couple of hours. Whoever can make it will attend. If you're busy, it's okay. There's always next week. So this is Tuesday Nights on Tasty Eating where you will find bars that serve food and how we like them.

On this recent Tuesday Night, we headed out to: La Cerveceria
Le Cerveceria is a Latin American tapas bar/restaurant that focuses on Peruvian flavors. But their alcohol list is heavy on domestic craft beers and some international beers as well. In fact, the beer list was so extensive that instead of randomly picking one, I chose to do an International Flight. Funny enough, one of the beers they served in the flight was from Oregon and I made a joke about it to the waitress. She came back with another glass of International beer on the house to complete our flight. That's service for you.

The menu is designed to share a bunch of small plates. And that's exactly what we did. Here is the Mexican Ceviche ($12) with shrimp and calamari in a spicy salsa. The seafood was fresh and vibrant. And I liked the acidity to the dish.
The Grilled Corn Salad ($8) was equally refreshing. Sweet nibblets of corn, beans, and hearts of palm lightly dressed in oil and lime juice. The only gripe was the amount of tortilla chips. Just four measly chips.
We ordered 2 types of the empanadas: Argentinian ($13) and Peruvian ($12). The Argentinian contained beef and pine nuts while the Peruvian had chicken, raisins, and tomatoes. The beef empanada was more savory, flavorful, and moist while the chicken was slightly dry and sweet.
The Yuca Fries ($7) had an interesting texture. Not potato-like but more starchy in fact. Yuca doesn't have much flavor on its own so the accompanying dips were a plus.
The Calamari Frito ($11) was just okay. The serving size was small for the price and they were a bit too heavily breaded. The squid, however, wasn't chewy which is always a good thing.
The Peruvian Potatoes with Braised Short Rib ($13) was something we haven't had before. The potatoes were really creamy almost polenta like. The beef and its juices really made the dish adding lots of deep meaty flavors. This is a hearty dish worth the price.
As we sat and ate through our dishes, we realized that we were still missing the Tuna Tartare. We asked the waitress and she came back later telling us it takes a while to marinate the tuna. Umm, no it doesn't. Raw tuna is one of the fastest things to prepare, marinated or not. Why didn't they just say they forgot instead of making of a silly story? That annoyed me. When the food finally did come out (quite quickly after our inquiry), it was really good. The tuna was fresh and lightly marinated. The guacamole was smooth and creamy while the plantain chip was the perfect crispy vehicle to place the food in our mouth. The slight aioli on top was nice but unnecessary.
I enjoyed La Cerveceria. The food was decent (while some dishes were better than others) and interesting. The beer list was pretty long with the flight being a good way to explore. The service, though good at first had a hiccup at the end with a lie. I'll overlook that though. It wasn't a huge deal. I'd go back and try some of their other items. Although, I would be a bit weary of the prices.

La Cerveceria
65 2nd Avenue
New York, NY 10003
(212) 777-6965

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