Thursday, December 31, 2009
Location: 33 Ave. B
People: JLam from MeSoHungry, friends and family of Poco
Feelings: Lovely Sara from Poco invited us to sample their New Year's Eve menu created by their guest chef, Jessica Floyd, who trained under Daniel Boulud. Poco is a Spanish inspired restaurant with tapas and specialized drinks in East Village, and their all you can drink brunch ($22!) attracts a lot of customers on weekends.
As soon as I entered the restaurant, lively crowds caught my attention, and everyone seemed to be having a great time. If this happens on Wednesday night, can you imagine how vital it must be on weekends? They really have an outstanding atmosphere without pretension. This is the kind of a place you go with your friends and have a great dining experience over tapas and sangria.
We tried over 10 dishes including two dessert plates. The course costs $75, which includes wine pairing. I had to avoid some food and the wine pairing due to pregnancy in addition to my routine ovo-pescatarian diet. I have become an expert of picking food out from my dishes, but from what I could try, my favorites were:
-Calamar (cumin crusted squid, blistered guindilla peppers, baby arugula, green romesco)
-Arroz Negro (forbidden rice, bay scallops, drunken goat cheese, black radish, fennel salad)
-Huevo (pimenton crusted soft cooked hen's egg, wild mushrooms).
Every dish was beautifully plated and delicately executed. The wild mushrooms were cooked perfectly and carried full of bold flavor. Some of the dishes had one note, but I am sure that the wine pairing would give each plate different experience to your palate.
Both dessert, Sopapillas (candy apple filled, dulce de leche, huckleberry ice cream) and Tarta de Queso (galacian crema, cacao crisps, guava puree) were delicious, but my favorite was Tarta de Queso for its refreshing, light and more complex flavor. It melted like air, and the kick of guava flavor lingered in mouth.
Putting actual food aside, I had a wonderful time with my new friends sampling all the beautiful dishes. What an eccentric, charming and fun crowd of people! This reminded me that food is not just for eating: It is the entire experience that makes food even more enjoyable. Every dish triggered more conversations and unity to the table. It sounds so basic, but many modern restaurants lack of this great quality Poco offers. Poco maintained their posh vibe while bringing the very fundamental of dining experience that a food blogger like myself keeps exploring.