Recently, a friend and I had a discount coupon at Agua Dulce for $40 worth of food and drink for only $20. Not bad. We arrived there from TaCocina, a restaurant located a few doors up, where we’d already indulged on quite a bit of guacamole (if you like spicy guac, I highly recommend theirs – far superior to entrees there in my opinion). We weren’t really hungry for full entrees, and were very pleased to find their extensive selection of tapas. The menu is broken into anticuchos (essentially grilled skewered meat), ceviches, and appetizers. For each category, you can choose a sampler platter to allow you to try three items from that category.
The anticuchos ranged from $5-9 per order and ranged from jumbo white prawns to Spanish octopus to chorizo. I’m not usually big on ceviche, but their options were very unique and intriguing and were $12-$14. Their Hamachi Tiradito was with yellowtail, watermelon, yuzu, and celery. My mouth is watering at the thought. My friend went with their Laughing Bird Shrimp Tacos, which were prepared with cucumber & scallion salsa. I was curious to try but knew after seeing the size of the dish that was not going to happen (the fork is there for a sense of scale).
Their standard appetizers were $8-$10 and included options ranging from salad to soup (creamy onion soup “Poblano Style”) to steamed pork belly buns (“Pan-chinos”). I ended up going with the Spicy Lobster Tamale which was served with a lobster ancho sauce. I was interested to see the end result, having only ever had lobster in standard, well non-spicy form. The dish was excellent. The tamale was nice and soft and the lobster was slightly spicy but still maintained the standard fresh lobster taste. Nice variation. I paired it with an order of their chorizo, which was nicely grilled and as chorizo comes, was very non-greasy. Nice change.
And even with the frozen sangria, we could not resist the temptation for dessert. They did have cinnamon sugar churros with chocolate sauce, which are my go-to if ever available, but I felt the urge to branch out. The chocolate cake with its spiced chocolate filling served with anilla ice cream sounded perfect for a cold evening. However, we ended up giving the crème brulee a try. I’ll admit, usually crème brulee is not my thing. The burned part of it sometimes to me makes me feel like I’m eating something savory and grilled. Just too far from the dessert realm for me. And when the consistency of the dessert itself is too stiff (solid as say Jell-o), I lose interest. However, this one was amazing. I don’t think I’d try anything different here. It added a couple of things to the mix – guava and white chocolate. I’d like to come back here and oh say actually try an entree!
Agua Dulce – 802 9th Avenue (between 53/54 Streets) – 212.262.1299