Tag Archives: Latino

Fresh Spin on Latin Food @ Aji 10 – Norwalk, CT

28 Apr

Sure, we’ve said it like a million times, but we’ll say it again just in case you forgot: Latin food is our favorite. We can never get enough. So, when we had the chance to visit the recently opened Aji 10 in Norwalk and talk with Executive Chef David Soto, we jumped on it.

What’s cool about Aji 10 is their menu is not just your typical Latin food. Nope, Chef Soto’s fresh spin is called Nikkei, which is a popular fusion of Peruvian and Japanese food. The reviews of this new approach to Latin food in Fairfield County have been quite positive, so we had high expectations for our dinner. Let’s get into it . . .

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Kickin’ It (Latin) Root Down at Tierra in Westport: CT Restaurant Review

8 Jul

When we hear about new restaurants, we get excited. When we hear about new Latin restaurants, like Tierra in Old Town Hall in Westport, we get really excited. Tierra (which opened in mid-June) is a bit hard to find at first, located to the right side of Spruce at 90 Post Road, close by Urban Outfitters, and by the parking lot off of Jesup Road.

Like good ‘ole Americans, we went there with our friend Christine on the Fourth of July (woo hoo South ‘Murica). Looking around, the bar to the left was warm, classic, and comfy with a huge loungy couch behind it. In the back there’s a private room with a nice wine rack wall and a fancy, shimmering chandelier. The main dining room features the same kind of vibe with a few tables and a side area with a view of the open kitchen.

Speaking of the kitchen, a husband and wife team run the kitchen and own it along with Chad Whited (and Laura Luce) who was there that night to help out. We first met CIA grad Chef Sue Torres, who is half Italian and Puerto Rican. She’s had an amazing amount of experience with Nuevo Mexicano fare including working at her own Suenos, Arizona 206, Rocking Horse Cafe, and Hell’s Kitchen.  We met her during our dinner as she went around from table to table to see how everyone was enjoying the food. Next was chef Darren Carbone, who comes from Columbia with an Italian-American upbringing. His impressive resume includes a CIA degree like his wife, and heading the kitchens at Super Linda, Rosa Mexicano, La Verdad, El Vez, and Alma de Cuba.  Ok, ok, you’re probably getting anxious to know about the food, so vamos, vamos.

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Celebrate Brasitas’ 15th Anniversary w/ a 5 Course Wine Dinner

19 Jul

If Brasitas in Stamford was a girl, she’d be celebrating her Quinceañera this year.  That’s fifteen years of yummy goodness at the Stamford location.  Let’s just say it, plain and simple:  Brasitas is an awesome place.  Thinking back to years of going there, we’ve never had a bad meal.  We’ve always come out full, satisfied, and—best of all—happy.  And, one of our best meals was back in August 2011 when we went for a paired wine dinner.  While they do have these and other similar events pretty often, a 15 year anniversary only comes around once.  So you best believe they’ll be hitting it hard with some amazing food on July 24, starting at 7 pm.

Dining will cost $60 per person, but with the five courses and a different Joseph Carr wine paired with each course, it’s actually quite a deal.  Here’s the preview of the menu:

Ensalada Catalana
Baby Spinach, Valdeon Cheese, Golden Raisins,
Pinenuts, Caramelized Quince and Sherry Vinaigrette

Pulpo a la Portuguesa
Roasted Portuguese Octopus, Baccala & Potato Cream,
Charred Scallions, Chorizo, Mojo Verde

Chicarrón
Pork Belly Brined in Smoked Paprika, Cauliflower-Manchego Foam,
Crispy Cauliflower, Chanterelle Mushroom, Solera Vinegar, Pickled Cherries

Pajespo con Romesco
Monkfish, Jamón Serrano,
Summer Pea Casserole, Romesco Sauce, Pisto and Clam Broth

Torta de Aceite
Olive Oil and Rosemary Cake,
Grapefruit Sorbet, Cosecha Miel Marinated Grapes

Which course are you most excited about?  What are some of your favorite dishes to get at Brasitas?

Brasitas

Noms: 4.25
Cost:  $$$
Address:  954 East Main Street
                  Stamford, CT 06902
Phone:  (203) 354.7329
Site: http://www.brasitas.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/BRASITASRESTAURANT

Mi Not Sure Oh: Inconsistent Guatemalan and Peruvian Spot. Mi Ranchito-Stamford, CT

15 May

Bandeja Chapina, Por Favor...Minus the Overcooking

Well, it was Cinco de Mayo so what better way to celebrate a victory of the Mexican army than eat Guatemalan and Peruvian food? Um, yeeeeah, we always like to push the boundaries and challenge expectations, right? We got this said food from Mi Ranchito on Hope Street in Stamford. It’s across the street from Roly Poly  in a teeny, tiny little spot with a bright blue banner.

We’ve eaten here a few times and were always happy with the food here for the price. We always try to look for Latino restaurants that are tiny little holes in the wall because we’ve found them to be the most authentic and delicious (not to mention dirt cheap). So, how did the pesos fall this time?  I ordered my usual, the Bandeja Chapina.  You get a sizzling thin strip of carne asada, cooked in flavorful and lively spices.  Also, hiding under it, you get adobada, another thin strip of meat, though this time it’s pork.  The spices in the pork also bounce around in your mouth and are full of flavor.  My favorite part of the dish is when the drippings from the beef trickle down and coat the pork.  Oh hell yes.  But this time, that dish was just okay because the meat was way overcooked.  The flavors were still there, but the meat was tough.  The sides that come with it were solid, though, and up to their usual quality.  Black beans, covered in queso fresco (try it on a Filling Station burger?) with rice, and some crispy yet fluffy tortilla chips to do a little digging with.  They also give you a salad and some tortillas so you can wrap up your own concoctions.  I paired it with my New England Brewing Co.  Sea Hag IPA.  Nice lil’ combo if you ask me.

Sea Hag IPA from New England Brewing Company

Kristien had the chile-wait for it-rellenos.  Yeah, I know, big surprise.  She said they were just ok.  She remembered it being better last time.  Whereas some Mexican or Latino spots go overboard with the cheese inside of the rellenos, Mi Ranchito had more of a beef and stuffing-like filling.  It was an interesting twist, but not great, and came with the same sides as my meal.

We were dying to have a special item on their menu:  plantains stuffed with black beans.  Unfortunately, we had their first version of the menu and it’s no longer on there.  I asked what else was unique to try and the server on the phone said the fried tacos.  Hey, we’re game, so we got those.  They were basically tortillas, stuffed with cheese and beef, wrapped up, then fried.  Very crispy, kind of boring but not bad.  Did we mention they smothered the hell out of them with guac?  For us, that’s a good thing. I did like the flavors in the fried tacos though, especially the contrast with the doughy, crispy, savory, and sweet.

Mommy, you almost done with those chile rellenos?

The bottom line is that this is a decent, cheap, inexpensive place to grab a quick authentic Guatemalan and Peruvian bite, get delivery, or just casually eat in.  For the most part, their food is solid, though we hope that we just had their food on an off day and it’s not a trend.  In Port Chester (where we use to live by), great Peruvian spots are a peso a dozen, but in Stamford it’s more of a rare commodity.

If we had judged Mi Ranchito just based on our Cinco de Mayo experience, we’d have given it 2 Noms and wouldn’t have come back.  But, if we judged it also based on our past experiences we might give it another try.  We don’t know.  Try for yourself and be ready to be content or to be disappointed–there seems to be no consistency.

Noms: 2.75

Cost:  $

Mi Ranchito:  Eat in, take out, or cash only delivery

Address: 262 Hope Street

Stamford, CT 06906

Phone: (203) 353-9252

Site:  http://miranchitoct.com/mi-ranchito-menu.htm

Mi Ranchito on Urbanspoon

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