Restuarants open and close every day in New York City, but we at Joonbug have a feeling that the recently opened La Cenita in Manhattan's Meatpacking District will become a local haunt in no time. A combination of lounge, ceviche bar, and restaurant, anyone who likes Latin food is sure to find something delicious and exciting while enjoying a relaxing atmosphere. Executive chef Akhtar Nawab, who trained under James Beard winner and celebrity chef Tom Colicchio, has stepped up his game with a Mexcian-inspired menu. Growing up, Nawab learned to appreciate the virtues of Indian cuisine, and his chef's training give thim the expertise needed to combine spices to acheive optimal flavors.
Every aspect of this restaurant is crafted to create an aura of creativity and comfort--from the warmly painted walls to the intricately constructed menu. The walls are painted with orange and blue hues and are lit with soft lighting to add to a warm and inviting atmosphere. The things we're most excited about, however, are the tacos. The langosta, one of the pricier options, has lobster, poblano cream, pasilla chile, and heriloom posole. The lamb barbacoa has crispy cheese, salsa borracha, and greens. What most piques our interest is the King Crab taco that comes with roasted corn and chipolte "ash" esquites. Thiago Silva, the Brazilian-born and Queens-raised pastry chef who has been baking since childhood, has taken his time to create desserts that complement the savory palette. His most mouth-watering creation is probably the fried rice pudding that comes in tantalizing flavors like coconut rice pudding, almond, pineapple and mango sorbet, but we're thinking the s'mores empanadas are going to fly off the menu. Those desserts are the perfect ending to a sumptuous feast. We cannot wait to review this place--we're sure it's going to be amazing.
La Cenita, 409 W 14th St, 10014