Happy Valentine’s Day!
I am a big fan of pink and red… so this holiday tickles me silly. I mean, sometimes I get a little sad seeing all the teddy bears and roses in the street being doled out amongst the couples kissing and smooching and holding hands all cute and in love. . . But most of the time I am able to get over myself and be happy for them (and know that one day i will be in one of those happy lovey duvy, make you want to vomit, kind of relationships)
If you’re single or if you’re attached, you should most definitely celebrate Valentines Day! This month, restaurant week in New York City has been extended till February 27th- and what better way to show some love for someone than to share an intimate meal with them?
Sarah, from Bright Lights, My City, and I didn’t have a romantic evening but we definitely had a fabulous dinner together along with some great girlie banter. That’s whats great about having girlfriends around this time of year, you can go out to a great restaurant, eat amazing food and have amazing conversation.
Did I mention that this was the first time I was meeting Sarah in person? Sure, we read each others blogs- and sure, we exchange messages on twitter but we had never, before this date had met each other. So when when Sarah messaged me about dinner during restaurant week I was game! (how often is it that you connect so well with someone that you dont even know on the internet!?!)
We met up at Rayuela. A latin restaurant located in the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Having lived in NY my whole life I have never heard of Rayuela- even when i used to walk along Allen Street on Random days (just for some city walking). The decor inside Rayuela is modern and chic with lots of tea lights inside the walls (which make for quite the romantic scape) as well as bamboo and plantlife.
Sarah and I, after we hugged like old friends, were seated in the dining room and given our menus. We automatically went for the restaurant week offerings and made our selections while catching up.
When our waiter came by to greet us, he asked us if we would care for anything to drink.
YOU BET WE WOULD. Dos Sangrias por favor! I simply adore a good sangria. Especially one with a kick.
As we sipped our sangrias, we were brought some olive butter…
And a deliciously warm ball of pan de bono. Its a roll with a cheesey center. For people, like me, who are addicted to bread and cheese- this roll will be the death of you.
For our starters, Sarah had the Ceviche which she said was absolutely amazing. It looks amazing too… though i must confess that when i see a martini glass, my first instinct is to drink from it. Sarah obviously has more self control than i do.
I got the parihuela which is a peruvian seafood stew with a cheese fritter on top. I cannot fully explain how awesome this was other than to say i was tempted to drink from this bowl… and then order a whole pot for myself. The tomato broth was light and flavorful with a fresh seafood taste to it- the shrimp were perfectly cooked and I am guilty of taking a bite expecting rubbery shrimp. The shrimp were perfect with that amazing texture- surely it was cooked at exactly the right moment. *sigh* so good.
For the main course, Sarah and I both ordered the Pato con Arroz. Pan seared duck breast on a bed of rice. The duck, which is never a fail in my book, was deliciously seasoned and cooked perfectly. The rice on the other hand was a little on the bland side- but i should note that the blandness of the rice did not deter me whatsoever from finishing the entire serving… cuz it was still yummy.
For dessert, Sarah ordered the decadent and Fudgy flourless chocolate cake which she so graciously shared with me.
I had the flan. I also split this with Sarah. I have to say that while this was good- i thought the chocolate cake was way better. When it comes to flan, i like mine firm and more custardy. This flan tasted a little gritty and on the loose side.
I absolutely enjoyed my time at Rayuela. The staff are extremely attentive and do not rush patrons at all! it was so refreshing to be able to have dinner without the feeling of being rushed!
I would definitely return to Rayuela!
I hope you all have a Fabulous Valentines Day and spend it with people you care about the most!
And most importantly, I love you.