Asian / Mexican/Latin American / New York / Restaurants/Bars

Macondo

Last night was time to celebrate Greg’s 29th birthday with dinner and some bar fun.  A few of us met at Macondo for dinner before meeting the rest of the crew at the bar.  I’ve heard Macondo has a great drunk brunch so I still plan on returning for that, but dinner was a good introduction to the restaurant.

When you go, make sure you’re thirsty because they have a great cocktail list.  We tried sangria, the guava and whiskey, and a tequila cocktail – all were delicious.  The best part is that all the drinks can be served in carafes, all the better for sharing and tasting your way through the cocktail menu.  The beverages aren’t the only thing that can be shared.  We decided to dine tapas style and ordered our booties off:

  • Almondegas: Brazilian meatballs with guava sauce and a ricotta-type cheese.  Lucky for us, it came with some bread for sauce sopping.
  • Croquetas de Jamon: ham hush puppies with a horseradish aioli
  • Camaron (shrimp) Ceviche: None of that wussy rock shrimp stuff.  These shrimp were nice and meaty and served with pineapple.
  • Clam Tiradito: Clam ceviche: You’d think one ceviche would be enough, but this one was spicier and tasted very different from the first so we had to try both.
  • Pato Tacos: Duck confit, peaches, caramelized onions
  • Pescado Tacos: Tilapia and mango poblano sauce.  This was one of the simpler dishes, but probably my favorite of the evening.
  • Mofongo de Pulpo: Octopus with mofongo.  Is mofongo not one of the most fun food words to say?  It means mashed up plantains – a surprisingly delicious mush.
  • Carne con Yuca: Skirt steak with chimichurri and massive yuca fries
  • Tostada de Huevo: This was like a thick slice of savory brioche french toast with an egg in the middle, ham, and truffle oil.  Love.
  • Buenos Aires Coca: Crispy flatbread topped with skirt steak, arugula, jalapenos, onions, and cheese.  I’m a big fan of thin crust pizza, so this was a goody.
  • Willianco Arepa: quail, spinach, figs, and manchego.  The quail was good, but it was served on top of a sort of polenta cake, whereas I think of arepas as a corn pocket stuffed with goodies.  This was tasty but didn’t seem like an arepa.
  • We also got some sort of crispy skinned pork that was good but not as impressive as the other dishes.

We ate everything, which I think is pretty good considering we ordered 12 dishes for 6 people.  I didn’t get too many pictures, but you can see the Tostada de Huevo and Willianco Arepa below.  We didn’t sample any of the desserts because we brought our own banana cake from Momofuku, my personal favorite cake ever.  As we walked out, I noticed a sign that said they’re open until 5 AM on Friday and Saturday nights, which means you can eat this delicious nuevo latino food all night long.

After dinner we headed to Swift for some drinks.  I had never been there before, but they had an impressive beer list on tap and nice long tables for groups in the back, so I have a feeling I’ll return.  The crowd had a nice mix of plaid shirted hipsters, almost baldies, and preps, which I see as a little something for everybody.  There’s a dj, but he’s not spinning too much from the top 40 list, which means it’s slightly more laid back and not as many people under 24. Apparently not everyone got that memo, considering we saw a newly graduated girl leave when we did and then vomit just as she got outside.  Her male escort responded by saying “Ugh it’s not even 2 AM yet.”  Hopefully he learned his lesson.  Time to stop taking out the babies and look toward your own 25 year old age bracket for girls.  Girls like me who have gained wisdom with their 25 years of age…and the ability to hold our liquor.

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