175th and Broadway Saturday Night
I'm taking a date to see Van Morrison Saturday night at the United Palace Theatre. The show is at 7pm, and we're not going to have time to dine beforehand due to work, so we're planning to dine afterwards ... 10 pm? 11 pm? How long is that show gonna last?
Anyhow, thought it might be nice to eat in the neighborhood up there, of which I know know little to none. Suggestions? Within a 10 minute walk of the theatre.
About 15 years ago I and a girlfriend were wandering around this area and found what looked like a tiny takeout joint... but behind the takeout counter was a huge dining hall crammed with about 200 happy eaters downing food from El Salvador. I never could find it again... but Sietsema reviewed it this week!
1229 St Nicolas Av (at 171 St)
On a Saturday at this hour, the neighborhood will be jumping- no need to worry. If you don't mind a (very) casual neighborhood atmosphere, try Malecon or El Conde for some churrasco with fried plantains and a banana batido... or, the roasted chicken at Malecon is fantastic. Both on opposite corners of B'way and 175th, across from the theatre. For something a bit more elegant (with great food), try Hispaniola on W 181st.
You must must must go to El Malecon. It's a Dominican Restaurant and nothing fancy but I would swear that I am in my mother's kitchen. The food is very authentic and the price is right.
Also the place is open very very late. My husband is NYPD and works the midnight shift and he and his partner go there often.
I recommend the raost chicken or the pork mofongo washed down with an ice cold Presidente beer.
You also might want to go for a late drink at In Vino Veritas. They have a slammin' Cuban house band that packs into their tiny space on Friday nights, with some stellar expat musicians from the island, and the great Pupy Insua lending his presence to the jam. Its a really fun little place and a great vibe -- full of Cubans and fans of the music. I've never been there on a Saturday night, but I imagine its about the same.
thanks all for the recommendations. I will have to spend some time up in that neighborhood to sample all the places that were recommended.
We ended up at Hispaniola after the concert, as I wanted a fairly quiet place for conversation, and also my date has some friends who live in the neighborhood who strongly advised Hispaniola.
The space is very nice, and the food was good. The service was quite slow, though. We ordered some cocktails, and must have waited 15 minutes before they were served. And there weren't many diners in the restaurant. My date asked for a margarita and it didn't taste very good. I had the Gran Hispaniola cocktail, which I thought was pretty good. I had the Argentinian skirt steak, rare, with Taro fries, while she had the teryaki chicken entre, both were excellent.
We decided to switch venues for desert, something closer to her neighborhood, so we took the A-train to 110th and grabbed a nibble at Saurin Parke cafe, which was pretty empty at that hour, but was kind of intimate and allowed us to continue conversation.
And Van Morrison was great. A good evening.
I live in the area. If you don't want Dominican food, Coogan's on 168th and Bway has a good menu of traditional American fare. They have an Oktoberfest menu this month, as far as specials go.