Rayuela is way-coola
Rayuela bills its menu as a combination of several kinds of Latin cooking, with touches of new flavors not typically found in Latin cooking. I ate there last night and it was absolutely fabuloso!
I had a ceviche called Siete Potencies, or the Seven Powers of the Sea, which was a mixture of seven different fresh seafoods such as octopus, crab and shrimp. It was served on a cup of ice and swimming in a green tomatillo sauce.
For my main course I had another appetizer called Tuna Rellena which was a huge mound of shrimp and crab wrapped in a blanket of fresh raw tuna and a soy vinaigrette. It was so tasty and rich-very filling. After this I did not need another course. It helped that the side bread they served was a traditional Brazilian bread called pao de queijo, which are these absolutely decadent rolls stuffed with cheese. I could eat a hundred of these because they are so small and light that they completely blow away any bread you will ever be served in a restaurant again!
My friend had the Cuban style pork, which was falling apart it was so tender, and it was served with a piece of crispy, friend pork skin. You couldn’t really eat the skin without feeling like you gave a year of your life to the gods who watch your dietary choices, but a bite or two is really worth it.
Others at my table had the Dorada, the Arroz con Pollo, the duck and the beef tenderloin. Every dish was a delicious combination of flavors that curiously went well together and were so different than anything we were used to eating.
We couldn’t get a table for dinner until 9:30, which in NYC is not that late for a Saturday, but even at that hour it was packed (but never uncomfortably tight). I highly recommend Rayuela if you get the chance. Here’s a link to the whole menu and their website. It’s located on Allen St and the layout is very open and airy but elegant and comforting too. What a great addition to the Lower East Side!