Yerba Buena Perry Street

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Slowly but surely Greenwich Avenue between 7th and 6th has changed.   From the stores to the restaurants.  Yerba Buena Perry, although located on Perry, is right on the corner of Greenwich and Perry.  This is the latest addition to the block. 

This is not the first restaurant from the group.  Yerba Buena is also located in the East Village and with the success of that restaurant, they opened another. 

It does drive me insane when the noise level is really hard to hear the other people at the table speak.  It is something that can easily be taken care of in construction with the right fabrications.  It is a tad noisy in there and the restaurant was not filled to capacity.  Can't imagine the din if the place was full.  Service was spotty.  Although very nice, not too attentive to timing such as getting the check or getting the drinks.  Also, the appetizers came out when the main courses came out which I thought was strange.  Regardless, the food was mixed.  Somethings were really delicious and others were just okay.

We had dinner with a woman that I had met this past December who is a reader of both mine and Fred's blogs.  Her boyfriend is Jay Jay French of Twisted Sister.  How could I turn down a dinner to meet the man behind Twisted Sister?  My brother-in-law would have killed me. 

Jay Jay not only tells great stories, he is a walking historian of slice of NYC that most of have never heard of.  From the education system, before Stuyvesant was co-ed to his mother's involvement in Kennedy campaign in New York.  Even the stories of the band, how they were formed, how it ended and how they got back together.  Heavy Metal music is a world completely onto its own….and Jay Jay has seen it all including some epic shows.

On to the meal.  We all shared 2 appetizers to start.  The empanadas stuffed with sauteed spinach, corn and manchego cheese sat over a dried fig vinaigrette which fantastic.  Having just been in Buenos Aires, and eating my share of empanadas, these were the real deal.  Good crust with a melding of tasty flavors inside.  Delicious.  The other appetizer was the hamachi tacos.  4 small tacos stuffed with raw hamachi (yellow tail) covered with thinly sliced radishes and a spicy habernero salsa.  It was different but I didn't love it.

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For the main courses, Fred and I split 2 things.  I went with the pork.  Shredded suckling pig set over a puree of yucca root sitting in a habernero salsa.  The salsa is really rich brown sauce.  I didn't love this.  Almost too heavy on the flavors.  Although really well prepared in both cooking and presentation, it was overwhelming. 

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Fred went with the Rib Eye.  I don't know where they get their steaks but it was rich, tasty, flavorful and just delicious.   Over the steak was a salad of sliced cherry tomatoes, pieces of avocado and onions.  Steak Latin style.  Totally worked for me.  There were 5 sauces on the plate too.  The one that I really liked was the chopped cilantro and olive oil mixture.  The others were good but I just gave them a quick taste.  We also ordered a side of mixed fries.  Really clever and different.  French fry in cut but watermelon, avocado and hearts of palm deep fried in a spicy panko mixture. 

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Had to try dessert.  We all split the crepe.  A sliced brown crepe stuffed with dulce de leche topped with spicy pumpkin seeds and scoop of pistachio ice cream on the side.  Simple and quite good.

Latin is not something that I eat on a regular basis but the food was different and quite good.  Not consistent but that is okay.  The steak was top.  What was amazing, more than anything, is that they didn't use any garlic in the food.  The food was full of flavor with lots of different spices but no garlic.  Love that.

Glad I went.  As I said, it isn't something I eat regularly.  In general, I don't gravitate towards food with Latin Mexican influences but a nice change of pace.  Interesting company which is always a huge bonus and another new addition to Greenwich Avenue.  All good.