Last February, I went to Victor's Cafe to try their lunch deal that was pretty good, and was looking forward to go back for dinner. I love this place that serves some delicious food. Lunch and dinner are quite different, the quiet atmosphere being replaced by a busy, loud but still bearable one, with Cuban music in the background when it is not live music.
Food wise, they have a nice menu with meat and seafood being the stars. Here are some of the dishes I tried:
1492 Aperitivo Cubano, an appetizer sampler comprised of Bartolito (sweet plantains, pork stuffing, black bean puree, goat cheese), Cuban quesadilla (creole shrimp and manchego), croquetas corral (smoked ham croquettes), empanada de pollo (chicken), Cuban tamale and fried yuca. Overall very good, especially if you like fried food. My favorite was definitely the chicken empanada that had a nice kick.
For my entree, I chose the Ponle Ropa a la Vaca, a combination of two of their signature dishes: ropa vieja and vaca frita. Ropa Vieja is slow braised and pulled skirt steak in a garlic, tomato, onion and pepper sauce. Vaca Frita is pan fried skirt steak, red onion, cilantro and an orange mojo. Both were presented in a cup made of fried plantains and served with rice and beans. They were delicious, the meat in both case being very good, soft for the Ropa Vieja and chewy for the Vaca Frita. I cannot even decide which one is my favorite!
It was served with rice and beans and I tried the sweet plantains as a side that were as expected.
With the meal, I got a fantastic Pinot Noir, Truchard 2014 from Napa Valley that was perfect with the meat, having a bold flavor and being quite smooth.
Even better was dessert: their tres lèches is fantastic, as much as the churros served with chocolate sauce, dulce de lèche , and condensed milk (that I finished with my spoon).
It was a great dinner and I remain a fan of Victor's Cafe, an establishment I use to go to more often when living in the City. If you want to have a nice dinner, this is definitely a place to know.
Enjoy (I did)!
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Victor's Cafe - 236 W 52nd St, New York, NY 10019