This is Christine Keff's second restaurant, after Flying Fish, and it is just as much of a delight. A view of the open kitchen greets the diner on the left, on the right are booths, and in the back is a large, softly lit room of graceful red leather banquets with a water view that is patrticularly lovely at sunset.
The food is Caribbean/Mexican, packed with flavor, and delicious. The dark mole sauces beautifully blend flavors; the wines by the glass, mostly Spanish, complement the food, and the desserts are satisfying. The place is kid friendly, too. We came in for dessert one night, and both children and adults were delighted with coconut leche cake, pecan caramel empanadas, sublime caramel bananas, and flan with candied cranberries.
We started our meal with an array of fresh corn tortillas filled with various meats, roasted cheese and salsas, but the best in the bunch was the huitlacoche, a richly flavored corn fungus, with melted cheese. This is one of our favorite dishes, and the only other place we can get it is at Rosa Mexicano in New York. We particularly loved the suckling pork, sort of a Mexican spiced version of pulled pork barbeque, but the beef short ribs, although tasty in their dark mole sauce, should have been a bit more tender.
Service could not have been better. The staff was helpful, well informed, and eager to make our meal something special. When we remarked on the fried plantain chips we had seen in the kitchen as we entered, we were warned, that none were included with the dishes that we had ordered, but they would be glad to get us a plate of them as a side dish.
There may still be a bug or two in some of the dishes, but we can't wait
to get back. Long live Christine Keff.
By the way, Christine Keff's Flying Fish is still going strong across the street.
Review: 24 January 2001