Calle Ocho Blogger Tasting Event

Events / Giveaways / Partnerships

Last week I attended Calle Ocho‘s blogger tasting event, where I was treated to a multi-course meal inspired by Latin and Spanish flavors.  Calle Ocho recently changed locations and is now located inside The Excelsior Hotel;  I had been to the former location, but how would this new venue fare?

After starting out with a yummilicious mojito, I perused the menu.  Mmm, ceviche! One of my fave:

The starter rolls were warm and toasty – the waiter said they were gluten free, which is a plus for those with that dietary restriction.  Instead of my usual fave, butter, the rolls were served with a black bean dip.  The slightly cheesy flavor of the rolls (I forgot what type of cheese was in the dough) complemented the mild but flavorful dip perfectly.

We started with the Ceviche duo – on the left is cured salmon, aji amarillo, sour orange and pineapple.  On the right is marinated aji tuna, ginger, cilantro and mustard vinaigrette:

While I’m usually a bigger fan of salmon than tuna, I really enjoyed the Asian inspired flavors of the tuna ceviche, with cilantro gingner, and I suspect a hint of sesame oil.  I polished off both!

We then were presented with the appetizer (first picture) – a duo of my very FAVE Bacon Wrapped Almond Stuffed Dates, Hearts of Palm, Cabrales; plus Colombian Sweet Corn Arepa, Ropa Vieja, Crema Nata and Criolla Salad.  Bacon wrapped dates are one of my very favorite tapas dishes ever – I love the sweet and savory dichotomy as well as the crispy/fleshy texture.  These were perfect.  The corn arepa was also on point, without being cloyingly sweet.

For the fish course, we were served Striped Bass with Serrano Ham-Chick Pea and Roasted Pepper Sauce:

Roasted red pepper isn’t usually my flavor of choice, but the Serrano ham made up for it! The fish tasted fresh and well-prepared and the red pepper sauce added a hint of sweetness without being overpowering.

By now I was quite full, but with a meat course and dessert still be had, I soldiered on.  We next had the Cuban Style “Steak Frites,” with Traditional Chimichurri:

I especially enjoyed the fries (they weren’t potato. Yucca perhaps?), though I was a bit confused by the chimichurri sauce – I couldn’t find it!  The steak was prepared medium rare, and the fried onions on top were a nice touch.  Overall, thumbs up!

We ended the multi-course meal with my favorite dish: dessert!  Tonight it was a Dark Chocolate Cake, with Dulce de Leche Ice Cream.

I can sometimes be a bit wary of chocolate desserts, just because I’ve had so many that look very chocolatey but taste not that chocolatey.  Fortunately, this was not the case with this domino dessert.  The ice cream had a very light dulce de leche flavor that went very well with the cake. I only wish there were more of it!

In all, Calle Ocho‘s menu has remained consistently good – I especially enjoyed the ceviches and appetizers.  The decor and ambiance were lively; I could see this being a good place for groups to share small plates.  If you’re ever in the UWS, check it out!

Calle Ocho
45 West 81st St. (btw Columbus and CPW)
212.873.5025
@calleochonyc

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17 Comments

  • Reply
    Mina
    September 21, 2011 at 8:41 am

    sounds totally yummy! it’s 8.30 and i have a weird hankering for ceviche now.

  • Reply
    Kim
    September 21, 2011 at 9:45 am

    What a fun event! That domino chocolate cake is too cute. I am a huge ceviche fan, and those yucca fries look amazing!

  • Reply
    Amy
    September 21, 2011 at 9:55 am

    fun! the food looks tasty! I agree the ceviche looks delish!

  • Reply
    Annie
    September 21, 2011 at 11:07 am

    I want to go eat with you. LOL one more week of this stupid yeast free diet and i’m FREE. So let’s go eat after that 🙂

    • Reply
      Serena
      September 28, 2011 at 3:14 am

      YAY!! 🙂

  • Reply
    Ngoc
    September 21, 2011 at 11:27 am

    Looks delicious! and ooh a domino cake, how clever.

  • Reply
    Lauren
    September 21, 2011 at 11:34 am

    It all looks so good, especially the apps and ceviche!

  • Reply
    Chic 'n Cheap Living
    September 21, 2011 at 11:35 am

    Yum and those definitely look like yuca fries!

    xoxo,
    Chic ‘n Cheap Living

  • Reply
    kelsey
    September 21, 2011 at 2:58 pm

    DROOL!! OMG, everything looks so amazing!! That ceviche is to die for!

  • Reply
    Pam
    September 21, 2011 at 3:06 pm

    I’m drooling too! It all looks delicious!

  • Reply
    MaryMoh
    September 21, 2011 at 4:24 pm

    Fabulous food. Love the presentation. And that domino cake is just too tempting. I would have ordered 2 just for myself 😀

  • Reply
    MacchaMe
    September 21, 2011 at 5:36 pm

    i love love love Calle Ocho’s starter bread!!!! They’re so cheesy and right amount of bounce

    • Reply
      Serena
      September 28, 2011 at 3:14 am

      Yes, they were so addictive!

  • Reply
    Amanda
    September 21, 2011 at 9:25 pm

    That looks SO tasty!

  • Reply
    Elle
    September 21, 2011 at 10:36 pm

    Excellent photos!

  • Reply
    honeymyheart
    September 22, 2011 at 12:53 am

    everything look delicious 🙂

  • Reply
    Katie
    September 27, 2011 at 4:19 pm

    Yum – the food sound delicious, and the presentation is beautiful!

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