When fire ravaged Calle Dao near Bryant Park in the midst of a pandemic, it didn’t stop the restaurant from bouncing back. Today it appears to be thriving with a nice crowd, with a nightclub club as a Latin beat fills the space filled with candle lit tables, distressed wooden bar and comfy padded banquettes. The cuisine is a unique mix of Cuban and Chinese.
The fusion mix shows up in dishes like Cuban Sandwich Spring Rolls served with a mojo lime mustard; Crispy Duck with Baos where you build your own bao (steamed bun) with crispy duck with hoisin sauce, scallions and Chinese pickles; and Cuban Fried Rice with shrimp, pulled pork and spam.
Larger plates bring Char Siu Pork Belly with sweet potato puree, and grilled pineapple escabeche; Black Rice Seafood Paella with clams, shrimp, mussels, calamari and Chinese sausage, mojo rojo and cilantro crema; and Chimichurri Pepper Picanha, a Brazilian cut of beef, that was grilled to perfection with chimichurri, and pepper beef jus. It is served with white rice topped with crispy shallots, black beens and maduros (sweet plaintains.) For dessert we shared a Dulce De Leche Souffle with mango coulis and whipped cream. The entire meal was fantastic and memorable.
Cocktails range from a simple yet potent Cuba Libre (rum and coke) to the Calle Dao Mojito (rum, ginger liqueur, shiso leaves, lemongrass, fresh lime juice, champagne), and Chan Chan (Bourbon, Lilet Blanc, Pamplemousse Rose, Fresh Lemon Juice, Ginger Syrup). Cititour Tip: Get there before 7pm and enjoy Happy Hour $9 cocktails along with $2 oysters and $12 wings.
We loved our experience at Calle Dao from our server who had a very nice personality and wonderful sense of humor to our cocktails which have us shouting Cheers!
- Thomas Rafael
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