F&F: Nuela

August 11th, 2010 by Dick Johnson

PX This presents THE F&F REVIEW

Hey, sorry we couldn’t make it to "Friends&Family," we were out of town/ had to work/ not invited. We’re really glad we finally managed to come by, though— it’s so nice to see you!
What’s that? You would still like us to take the time to fill out the F&F survey, because you’d love to take advantage of all our vast experience, knowledge, insight, and expertise as long as we’re already here? Because you invited 75 people to F&F, and afterward all you got was 41 "Congrats[es]!" 22 "Awesome[s]!" 3 "Ciao[s]!" and 9 "Best of luck[s]!" ?
Of course, we’d be honored. Oh ha, yesss, we’ll be honest— brutally honest even, ha ha! After all, that’s what friends & family are for!
No no please, don’t send anything more, we’re stuffed, we can’t breathe, you’ll have to roll us out of here, ha ha ha… !



What was your first impression?
It’s big! And RED…

Please rate the Bar:
Fine. Commodious, welcoming, and clean despite its clutteriness. And the bartender is affable and proficient enough, if not particularly effusive.

Please rate the drinks/ cocktails/ wine:
The cocktail list is decent, all the staple Latin American favorites with a twist or two thrown in. Well priced at around $11 to $12. Good and ample collection of Spanish and Latin American wines, also fairly priced with a nice balance in the range. Surprisingly (and percipiently), even some suitable sakes offered!

Please rate the Dining Room:
Snazzy! Somebody spent some money up in here, all right.
Also: smart. All the important details are quite proper. Clearly some experienced restaurant architecture at work here (mostly in Las Vegas perhaps, but still…)

Please rate the BOH:
Ohh, man. What a team. First-rate, top-notch, super duper A-1…

How was the staff?
Satisfactory. They try hard. A little stiff and corporate in their demeanor, but maybe the Flatiron District likes that stuff (or maybe they were all flown in from Las Vegas along with the architect). Ha ha, graduates of the BR Guest School of Hospitality— you know the type. Overall, a B+.

What did you eat?/ How was the food?
Sea Urchin Ceviche : Holy cow. Just from this dish alone, I’m just about ready to move in.
Foie Gras Croquettas :
Wow. OK, somebody remind me who the chef is again?
Chupe de Camarones : Whaaat? Where am I…?! OK, I’m sold! Stop it, I feel woozy…
Octopus and Pork Belly Anticuchos : Eh, OK. Maybe not as mind-blowing as the others, but for something so simple, it’s very well done. Flavorful despite its starkness.
Oxtail Empanadas : Outstanding. Succulent and tender and expertly executed.
Suckling Pig Bocadillo : Very good. Love the artful play on such an approachable dish.
Hamachi Ceviche : Superb. Fresh, delicious, and generous. A really great value for the $15 price tag. Normally, I’d say I’m more of a ceviche purist, so the "sour orange basil" in the description initially struck me as somewhat pretentious and just a tad silly. Well, I was wrong. [These stunts are performed by professionals. Do not try this at home.]
Bacalhau Buñuelos : Dude, I don’t even like bacalhau that much generally, but this is really delicious and perfect. The texture is fantastic.
Corn Gratin : Hee hee. I mean, this is just a side dish. I don’t even know what more to say, all I wanna do is giggle in contentment.

What did you like?
Just about everything.

What did you dislike?
Well, OK, can’t say I’m such a fan of all the RED, but don’t mind me. I’ll deal.

What was your last impression?
Even the bathrooms are great.

Would you come back?
Oh, hells yeah.

Thank you, and hope to see you soon!
Thank you, it was a pleasure. Really.



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3 Responses to “F&F: Nuela”

  1. Dishwasher Says:

    Did anyone see the Sifton review?? There goes the politics again!! ;)

    I tried Nuela after this review and personally I loved it. I agree that the atmosphere is Vegas-like but most of the comm’l spaces in that area are huge. The food is excellent tho, and have reco’d it to lots of people.

    Funny how Il Matto got 2 and Nuela only 1. Il Matto is nowhere near as good, looks like Sifton is up to Bruni’s old tricks.. ;)

  2. Dishwasher Says:

    Or maybe even Hesser’s, the review even mentions Jean Georges! lol ;)

  3. Inkslinger Says:

    I did see your comment under the Il Matto review! Why am I not surprised?


    (LOL @ Hesser!)

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