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Oct 14, 2009 12:22 PM

Dominican Dinner and Shopping

I have a friend coming to visit who spend some time living in the DR and is really excited at the prospect of getting some good dominican food and maybe doing some shopping for hard to find items (even if she doesn't end up buying a lot, just the novelty of seeing them all for sale here in the states will probably work).

I only moved here pretty recently, and we live in bk so don't have occasion to get very far uptown too often, but i know that some of our better options would involve a train ride up that way which we are totally not opposed to.

So, where would you send someone looking for one dominican meal (probably a dinner) where we could wander either before or after to see the best range of imported dominican items? Searching the board i realize there are a lot of lunch places in midtown that do dominican/cuban, but we are looking for something distinctly dominican, and probably dont want to deal with the crush of office drone lunchers.

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  1. You'll want to go up to Washington Heights ... I don't have time to do a search now, but I believe that there are a number of posts on Domincan restaurants in that area. Good luck!

    1 Reply
    1. re: MMRuth

      holy crap you're fast - ill poke around the old threads with wash hts but if anyone had any recent/specific rec's id appreciate them too.

    2. I haven't been there, but Restaurant Margot (Broadway and 159th) is supposed to be the best Dominican Restaurant in all 5 boroughs. It was written up in Gourmet Magazine (r.i.p.) recently.

      If you go, please give us a review.

      6 Replies
      1. re: mahler5

        Will do. Does anyone have any reccomendations if we do end up there? I was also thinking of heading to El Malecon as our dominican-loving friend much prefers poultry to beef/pork, and they seem well-known for their chicken.

        1. re: tex.s.toast

          I was just about to say MALECON. We've not been to "original" and actually I'm not sure where it is exactly. We've only been to our little outpost on W97th/Amsterdam. And DH gets the takeout chicken frequently. We've also had the chicken when we do our "It's A Wonderful Life" Party (you know, the whole chicken on a spit thing). Everyone loves "dominican chicken".

          1. re: LNG212

            judging by your post (and less uptown location) im guessing you dont have a direct comparison between margot and malecon - i will definitively have a report on one of them (possibly both) by the weekend's end.

            1. re: tex.s.toast

              Margo is excellent, and I recommend long-braised meats like goat and oxtail. Simple little place. It is a bit downtown from the Heights.

            2. re: LNG212

              The original is at 175th and Broadway, right by the entrance to the George Washington Bridge. tex.s.toast , glad you enjoyed the 97th St. branch, which is a long-time haunt of mine.

          2. re: mahler5

            Restaurant Margot is good, especially for anything stewed. The 150s and 160s are home to a lot of small fish and seafood stores where you can buy / look at / order steamed or fried seafood -- usually very fresh -- and a few samey bakeries selling Dominican pastries, snacks and garishly festooned birthday cakes. There are also lots of fruit and veggie vendors in the street, but the quality is often not high. The supermarket at 157th on the east side out of the subway station carries some harder-to-find Dominican ingredients for cooking and baking.

            If you and your friend are walking types, you might enjoy having lunch at Margot and then winding your way up Broadway to Albert's Mofongo House at Dyckman St. for dinner (about 40 blocks). There are lots of small cafes, bakeries and shoe / clothing stores to pop into along the way.

          3. I haven't been there, but a Dominican friend recommended El Rancho Jubilee, 10 Hillside Ave, New York, NY 10040, - Washington Heights
            (212) 304-0100

            4 Replies
            1. re: Rmis32

              I tried to go with friends after a walk in Fort Tryon Park over the weekend, but evidently the restaurant is closed until this Friday, at least. (I'm not sure why.)

              I'd love to hear more details, if you have them, about why your friend recommends El Rancho Jubilee.

              1. re: cimui

                I haven't been there for a couple of years now - so the cooks may easily have changed - but I didn't think it was particularly good - nothing wrong with it, but not worth a trip up there.

                1. re: MMRuth

                  Thanks, MMRuth -- I really appreciate that heads up! Since I am in the area pretty regularly on weekends (Inwood and Fort Tryon are two of the loveliest parks for dog walking in NYC), are there any other places you'd recommend? I think I remember you saying that you used to spend some time in that neighborhood, too.

                  1. re: cimui

                    I haven't spent time up there for a couple of years now. There was a little bakery next to my client's office on Broadway just north of 191st street, that made a pretty good "Cuban style" sandwich - though with just mayonnaise, cheese and ham. Don't remember the name, off hand, but it's on the East side of Broadway. They also had reasonably good croquetas and pastelitos.

                    Good to know about the parks for dog walking - will have to do that one weekend. My husband is Dominican, so it would be fun to try out some more places up there - I'll report back.

            2. Reporting back: We ended up being a little pressed for time so we went to the "downtown" location of Malecon (on amsterdam and 97th) and were perfectly satisfied. Many a picture of our friend moaning in delight were had - we got:
              -authenticly paninin pressed garlic bread came to the table straight away which was soft and garlicy, and, according to our friend, just like it comes in the DR
              -half a chicken (eight bucks with two sides, really?) which was good - the skin was well seasoned and fairly crisp, the meat was succulent and the lime sauce it came with was an excellent compliment.
              -chivo guisado (goat stew) this was GREAT - deep rich flavored sauce that didnt overpower the intense gamey goat flavor. a big plate of chopped up goatbits complete with plenty of bones (why is it that it seems like goats have twice as many bones as any other animal?)
              for our sides we got rice and bean and while i wasnt a huge fan of the habicuelas our friend said they were JUST like she remembers so it may be a question of my taste.
              the maduros we ordered were spot on, well browned and nicely carmel-y without being (overly) greasy and heavy.
              the tostones were first rate - im not generally a huge tostone fan but these werent too starchy and had a great texture and flavor.
              fried yucca was the one piece that didnt impress and even that was fine - there wasnt enough salt on them and the pieces were a bit larger than id like so the ratio of golden outside to starchy middle was a bit off, imo.
              overall a very satisfying and decidedly affordable meal (all this food - way too much for the three of us, plus a round of the least skunked presidentes ive ever had- for about 60 bucks including tax and tip). thanks for all the rec's!

              1 Reply
              1. re: tex.s.toast

                Nice report back, tex. They do have a nice chivo guisado.

              2. hispaniola 181 st and cabrini