Sunday, March 16, 2008

Tales from the Kripta


My junior high Spanish didn't school me on "rayuela," the word for hopscotch. But it's in my vocabulary permanently after a visit to Rayuela, the Lower East Side restaurant that skips between different Latin cuisines to present an intriguing and delicious menu. Rayeula has attracted savvy celebs like Chris Noth, Mo Rocca, Amy Winehouse and sexy Eric Ripert of Le Bernardin, who celebrated a birthday there.

The restaurant is modern yet warm, done in pale woods, accented by candles in alcoves that recall a hopscotch pattern and a live olive tree imported from California that stretches toward a second story skylight.

Chef Maximo Tejada, who worked with Nuevo Latino padrino Douglas Rodriguez, calls his cooking "estilo libre" because its a modern, freestyle cuisine completely inspired by Latin styles of cooking and ingredients. We visited the Caribbean, Mexico, Spain and South America with dishes such as a silky ceviche with guanabana and lychee; guacamole spiked with crab, carica (Brazilian papaya) stuffed with duck confit and crab-stuffed piquillo peppers in a tantalizing cilantro allioli.

Oh, and I loved Coming up Roses, a subtle cocktail with rose nectar, lime and champagne created by mixologist Junior Merino. But I really got a kick out of a rare bottle of cava that sommelier and co-ower Hector Sanz pulled out of his stash. Kripta Gran Reserva, created by winemaker Agusti Torello, comes in a stunning amphora-shaped bottle. Sanz assures me that the wine inside the handmade bottle is equally amazing, perhaps the best cava ever created.

You don't have to worry about this wine ever losing its cachet; the only U.S. store I could find with any inventory has just four bottles. I did find a source though for Torello's high-end cava vinegar, made from the same grapes as his famous wines, but sour grapes just aren't quite the same thing.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Bubbly Girl,

My name is Shannon and I'm the editorial assistant at Foodbuzz.com. I am very impressed with the quality of your posts and to that end, I’d like to invite you to be a part of our newly launched Foodbuzz Featured Publisher program. I would love to send you more details about the program, so if you are interested, please email me at Shannon@foodbuzz.com.


Cheers!

Shannon Eliot
Editorial Assistant, Foodbuzz.com
shannon@foodbuzz.com

don said...

I visited your site today and think we both could really benefit from exchanging links to each other. We could either do a reciprocal link or a three way link trade which would be most beneficial to both of us as it is a one way link to each other. Our site is www.mustlovewine.com.

With the three way link trade we would add a blog post on www.food-and-beverage.net that linked to your main page and 2 sub pages via keyword. In return you would link back to MustLoveWine.com. The advantage to this is that you get 3 links back from food-and-beverage.net in return for linking to mustlovewine.com.

However, if you prefer we can do the reciprocal link instead.

If you are interested in swapping links please let us know the following:

For the three way linking please include the three keywords you want linked in the blog post and the URL to which they should point. If you prefer to write the blog post please feel free to do so and include it in your response.

For Reciprocal links please include the keyword, URL and a brief description if you would like one added under the link back to you.

Once we have received the information from you we will add the link(s) to our site and then email you back so that you can place the link back to www.mustlovewine.com.

Thanks for your time.

Dondon

MustLoveWine.com
Please email me back
linkbuilder@twobudz.com