Tuesday, November 15, 2011

On an unseasonably warm November night, I decided to take a leisurely stroll along the Highline before my dinner reservations. Thank goodness I did so because it helped build up an appetite I certainly needed for this place. As the hour approached 7, I hurried back, hustled down the stairs and walked into Ventanas.

Dinner By Candlelight
I may as well have stepped into a travel brochure! I was instantly greeted with a seductively romantic and dimly lit restaurant with bright bursts of reds, violets and indigo hues everywhere. It was very reminiscent of walking down a Moroccan street at sunset (not that I’ve been to Morocco, but I imagine it to feel like that). Long couches with plush pillows and candle lit tables surround you at every turn and the smooth beats of Western Mediterranean music transport you to an ultra exotic locale. A house DJ provides musical entertainment Thursdays through Saturdays (Saturdays includes bellydancing) and a Flamenco show yields more merriment on Tuesdays, and by all accounts, this should have dinners dancing in the aisles between courses. Add to that an extraordinarily friendly staff, sensational drinks and food that is out of this world and you have a recipe for an experience that will leave you wanting more.
Clockwise from top; Grilled Spanish Sausage,
Merguez (Lamb Sausage with Couscous),
Patatas Bravas (Spicy Roasted Potatoes with Aioli)

My night began with the Girasol Martini. This is a dangerous little passion fruit martini that will definitely sneak up on you if you're not careful. Tangy and sweet, it’s a wonderfully refreshing cocktail to start off any night on the town. As for the food, there are a few regulars that you can find in most tapas restaurants, Jamón Ibérico (Spanish cured ham), marinated Spanish olives, Patatas Bravas (spicy little potato bites with a smoky spicy aioli) and an assortment of both grilled and cold Spanish chorizos graced their menu, all of which were fantastic. Then I got into the more glamorous options; the incredible flavor combinations basically bitch slapped me across the Atlantic.
Empanadas de Rabo (Oxtail Emapanadas)

There was the Merguez, a lamb sausage & couscous dish that was loaded with juicy little sausage bits surrounded with tender couscous, fava beans & mini heirloom tomatoes. I could’ve easily eaten a cement truck full of this and still asked for more. Then I had the Empanadas de Rabo (Oxtail Empanadas). Wow! These crispy bite size shells were replete with moist and flavorful shredded meat inside that made you want to shout “Holy Cow!” Literally. It came paired with a tomato dipping sauce which just added to the dramatic layers of deep earthy flavors this dish packed.

As my decadent meal came to a close, the waiter brought out my final 2 dishes. The first one, traditional Churros with a chocolate dipping sauce immediately followed by Empanadas de Dulce de Leche (caramel empanadas) with Caramel ice cream. Oh my sweet Jesus! These sinfully blissful desserts are the very definition of perfection. Both covered in sweet and sultry cinnamon sugar the Churros were the right combination of soft on the inside and crisp on the outside with a chocolate sauce you would think fell from heaven itself. The Empanadas were bursting at the seams with cream cheese and caramel. One bite and the end result will be an impish little smile from ear to ear.
Emapanadas de Dulce de Leche (Caramel Empanadas)
 with  Caramel Ice Cream

Overall, I cannot wait to return here. Food, drinks, entertainment (did I mention food). A girl couldn’t ask for more. I’m already making plans with to go see the Flamenco show as soon as I can. If you're looking for an escape from the hustle and bustle that is the city I love, look no further than that little corner under the Highline.

Till next time, 

Love Peace & Bacon Grease <3


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