Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Pomaire, romantic and delicious!

I went with Marlene to Pomaire before a show. I'd found it on line, and the reviews were good (an oddity in the online world in NYC - people really say exactly what they think!) The actual restaurant lived up to all the hype, which is all the better!

Pomaire serves traditional Chilean food in a cozy relaxing atmosphere. Be sure to get a reservation via Open Table, otherwise you will be sitting at the bar or at a communal table. Not a bad place to be, but I think good to know ahead of time.

I actually ordered based on the mentiones in the reviews of the empanadas, the Pastel de Choclo, the Pisco Sour and the Sangria.

Marlene arrived early to the city - she heard there was a 45 minute back up at the Lincoln Tunnel so she left early, but in actuality there was no delay at all. No problem - I met her here at Pomaire earlier than our reservation. When I arrived, she had a gorgeous glass of Pinot Noir going. I knew what I wanted to try - the Pisco Sour. Pisco is a brandy made from muscat grapes and a liquor that is favored in Chile. The cocktail is made with lemon juice and confectioners sugar, and garnishe with a slice of lemon and a grape. Served in a champagne flute, it is a nice little start to the evening. Not too sour from the juice, and surprisingly a gorgeous balance between the brandy and the juice/sugar combination. If you've never had one, this is the signature cocktail here at Pomaire. It was nice to be at the bar before the rush, because we were able to chat up the bartender (who is the owner until the actually bartender arrives), and hear about the cocktails and how they are made. When the real bartender arrived, she told us about the Robinson Caruso Cocktail which is like a mojito but made with Pisco brandy.
We moved to the dining room, and Marlene decided she needed to try the Robinson Caruso, and I was interested in trying the red Sangria (which also has Pisco in it). I tasted Marlene's drink, but took a sip from the glass rather than the straw. I guess all the sugar is at the bottom so it tastes sweet as you drink it. She loved it. My Sangria was gorgeous and complex and light - everything I could ask for!
Marlene agreed we should try the dishes from the reviews, and as indicated in the reviews, don't fill up on the delicious bread. They serve savory pastry squares and rolls that are warm and wonderful. We ordered the Empanada and the owner suggested the seafood version so we went with it. We told him we were going to share it, so he said he would have it cut in half in the kitchen and serve it with some winter greens. It was delicious and seriously - one emanada could have been dinner so I'm glad we shared. It was even more amazing with the salsa condiment on the table. Now this is not mexican spicy salsa - more of a fresh fully flavored salsa. You don't miss the kick because the other spices are so interesting.
For dinner we had the Pastel de Choclo, a meat, chicken and corn pie. The ground meat and shredded chicken were nicely flavored with spices and a good amount of minced sauteed onion. There were also raisins and olives in there (I love dishes with the flavor of olives, but I really don't like whole olives so I picked those out easily). The topping of the pie was a cross between polenta and cornbread - very delicious adding great corn flavor. This dish is served in a clay pot, and is incredibly hot when it arrives, but stays nicely warm as you eat your dinner slowly.
At this stage of the game we are totally stuffed. We decided to save dessert for our next visit. We knew we'd be coming back sometime because it was a wonderful locale with gorgeous food and service.