Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Food Tuesday: Restaurant Tour

It’s Food Tuesday and time for another stop on the restaurant tour. This week, it’s all about Cantina Rooftop Restaurant and Lounge. This charming little spot is in my old stomping grounds (I used to live a block away) and perhaps it is a good thing it wasn’t open when I was in walking distance. I can definitely see its potential as a weekly stop. We went there with family a few weeks ago for the happy hour/pre-dinner experience and had a great time. I will confess, I am partial to a rooftop when the sun is shining but even if I wasn’t, the casual vibe of Cantina would pull me in.

Location: Hell’s Kitchen. 605 W. 58th St., New York, NY 10019 (btwn 11th and West St/West Side Hwy)

Atmosphere: Outdoor party. There are a few high top tables for four inside with the bar as well as a couple of couches. The walls are open to the outside rooftop where there is a section of tables for 2 or 4 on one side and couches under a glass roof on the other side. The décor is bright and colorful and tropical plants add a bit of a vacation vibe. When we went, there was a DJ playing current hip hop and pop hits. The crowd was roughly mid 20s-early 40s. There was a bar crawl that night so it may have been a bit noisier than normal but it didn’t detract from the relaxed vibe.  

Service: The staff is amazing and friendly. We never waited too long for anything and had no problem getting drinks despite the crowded bar.

Price Point: $$ (small plates: $8-$14; salads: $10-$14; ceviches: $12-$18; tacos: $10-$14; entrees $25-$30). They also offer a prix fixe brunch ($28.95 for 1 entrée and 2 mimosas or bellinis)

Cocktails: They offer a selection of handcrafted margaritas and cocktails ($12) as well as extensive tequila and wine lists.

Deals: The Happy Hour menu is your best bet for cheap eats. The food (a selection of guacamole, tacos, empanadas and seafood) runs between $10 and $14 (bar and lounge only) and there are $6 house margarita/frozen cocktail specials and $5 beer specials.

Our Meal: We started with guacamole, which comes with plantain and blue corn tortilla chips. The serving is relatively small so for a table of 4 and we definitely needed 2. We also tried the empanada trio and all of the tacos with the exception of the Los Cabos Tuna. The tacos also come in threes and are mini. Everything was delicious. Our server had lots of suggestions and we enjoyed everything she recommended.

Cons: I didn’t have any cons. I loved everything about this place. I will say, if you are going for conversation (first date, perhaps), you may want to go on a weekday or sit outside as the volume on the music is pretty loud. 

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