Is there anything wrong with Mexican Food? I mean, besides the fact that it gives you gas, makes you fat, and has next to no nutritional value? I didn’t think so. We in NYC have so much wonderful food at our fingertips-Polish, Italian, gourmet Patisseries…but coming from Tucson, AZ was hard for me. I went from somewhere where home made tortillas and carne seca beckoned from every street corner to a place where I now have to HOPE to find a salsa that isn’t just unripe tomatoes and cilantro stems. Enter Dos Caminos:
Now, I have no delusions about this place. I know as well as anyone that if this were in CA or AZ, this place would be decried as fancied up faux Mexican at insanely expensive prices. But we are in NYC. And the margaritas are without a doubt, the best in the city. And yes, I have tried them all-I’m just that much of a lush.
The Soho location was dark, modern, and lit with votive candles. It was humming with energy, but not at all loud-perfect for a girl’s night out or a date spot.
Guacamole. The best I have had in this city. Period. Avocado, cilantro, onions, jalapeno, lime… and they don’t skimp on the portions here! This was big enough for four people to get their fill! Buttery, spicy, citrusy..it went so well with the still warm from the fryer tortilla chips and three different salsas.
The roasted habanero on the far left was particularly delicious. The smokey chipotle and the tart salsa verde were also delish. AND…the chips and salsa were complimentary. In this city, that is unusual. And so I clapped…
…and kate ate….
And I enjoyed my (second!) passionfruit margarita. Made with a reposada tequila (a tequila that is aged and very smooth), this drink was totally to die for! Fruity, tart, bright, sweet only from the passionfruit, with that salty rim…it got me toasted and happy. Note the flush in my cheeks 😉
For dinner, since I had filled up on approximately 7 avocados and 14 tortillas during our appetizer, I kept it simple with the ceviche sampler. From the left:
TEQUILA CURED SALMON CEVICHE with roasted mango-habanero salsa, grenadine roasted sweet potato, orange sea salt. This was good but not memorable. The salsa was way too sweet and the fish was not of an amazing grade. I mean, I ATE it…I am a pig, after all…but it was ok at best.
LOBSTER CEVICHE habanero infused coconut and citrus marinade, mango pico de gallo, red chile oil. And this is what I will be serving at my wedding. And my birthday. And every night that I can afford it. This was outSTANding! The lobster meat was just barely cooked through, so it was still tender and sweet-it cut with a fork. The coconut and habanero were perfectly married-the sweet richnes of the coconut paired with the heady heat of the pepper was an inspired combination that I will be repeating soon. The cilantro in the pico de gallo added another earthy note. And with that crunchy, salty plantain chip…what more can I say? I LOVED this ceviche.
And last, but not least, I sampled the TUNA CEVICHE with soy-lime marinade, sesame, chilis torreados, mint, cilantro. This was good-the fish was very fresh, and the sesame made it deep, the chilis made it hot, and the herbs made it grassy and fresh, but…well…it was Asian. No Mexican tasting at all. This would have been more at home on the menu at a Japanese fusion restaurant than a Mexican one. It was still good, just … incongurent.
My sister got the steak tacos, and I sampled her rice and beans. By sampled, I mean ate all of them. I’m basically a diet aid. I finish your plate so you don’t have to 🙂 The rice was perfectly cooked-not gummy or hard, just very well prepared. And the beans were DYNAMITE! Not greasy or mushy like so many refried beans can be. These were smooth, silky, rich, and smoky. Sprinkled with soft white cheese, they were just delish.
This was a great meal! We had a wonderful waiter and delicious food in a fun and beautiful setting. It ain’t cheap, but it won’t break the bank either. And until they transplant Freebirds or El Charro here, it is our best bet for Mexican food and potent margaritas in the city! So fiesta at Dos Caminos it is!