Executive Chef Ulrich Sterling has some wonderfully wild things going on at Agua Dulce (sweet water) with a vivid host of Pan-Latin and Asian influences that I daresay will make the rest of the foodist strip of Hell’s Kitchen step up to Sterling’s inspired plate. The place is stunning too; the design harkening back to the yesteryear chic of Havana and Rio.
I had no problem launching into some “sweet water” myself, namely the delicious Agave Flower ($13) cocktail, a potent mix of Patron Silver tequila, floral St. Germain and fresh squeezed lemon, topped with a floating mix of berries.
Our first hint that we were onto something very special came with the incredible little platter of Chili and Sweet Soy-Glazed Soybeans ($7), seared to a rich char, with ginger, soy caramel and shallots. We devoured our aperitivos (appetizer), which began with thrilling Island Creek Oysters ($18/half dozen) in a tingly mignonette of jalapeno, celery, ginger and a trio of crushed peppercorns. The essence of fruit further enhanced the fresh oyster flavor. We loved the sprightly Salmon Citrus Ceviche ($13) with thinly sliced red onion and the Yellow Fin Tuna Tiriadito ($15) with a truffled lychee sauce and crushed pink peppercorns.
A la parilla (from the grill), we really enjoyed the Aji Panca Glazed Duck ($24) from Long Island served medium rare, with crispy duck confit, a ginger scallion slaw, and boniato, also known as white sweet potatoes. I almost had to pick my friend up off the floor once she tasted the Beef Short Rib ($23), coated for two days with a spice rub, and braised for 12 hours with lapsang souchong tea. Fantastic! Yuca Frita ($5) were perfectly fried, and a perfect, flavorful side with a hint of vanilla.
We went simply cross-eyed over the shot of Patron Café XO ($11), yes—tequila and coffee together at last! Dulce de Leche Flan ($9) was a shattering, shockingly good conclusion; such creamy gorgeousness found in the incredible sweet caramel flan with salted caramel ice cream.
Chef Sterling and Agua Dulce both delight in any number of languages, countries or cuisines!
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Next Magazine Review - Agua Dulce
Posted by Peter Sherwood at 12:30 PM
Labels: Next magazine, nextmagazine.com/eats
Subscribe to: Post Comments (Atom)
Post a Comment