By grace.g.yang ยท August 12, 2011
Under: Dinner,Flatiron

Last week, I went with some girlfriends to Nuela, a restaurant located in the Flatiron/Chelsea area because our coworker wasn’t able to make his reservation. We did a tasting of the ceviches for two (for three) with wine flights for each ceviche course. I’d never been to Nuela before this visit but had actually run into another friend on her way to the restaurant a while back – she was there to try their duck paella with her friends and said that it was really good but the portions were way too big for her and her friends! When we arrived, it looked like it was a large space – large enough for a nightclub (which it might have been at one point) but relatively new and spacious.

Since we were doing the ceviche tasting, we didn’t have to worry too much about what we were going to order – the menu had four ceviches listed: market fish with lime and red onion, shrimp and charred octopus with red onion and cilantro, tuna with charred pineapple, miso and summer radishes, and “Chifa” ceviche with peanuts, scallions, thai chili and sesame oil.

We started with bread, bunelos, with marscapone cheese, salt and honey:


The bunelos were fluffy, tasted like they had a hint of cinnamon, and were served warm (I love when bread is served warm!) We were surprised that they were warm but it made sense because the marscapone cheese with honey was actually frozen (not sure if that was intentional). The mix of sweet and salty was a nice way to start the meal.

Our first ceviche was the market fish, which happened to be snapper, mixed with red onion, lime and nuts:


The red snapper tasted very fresh with the acidic touch of lime and red onion. The fish was cut generously and had a smooth, butter-like taste on the tongue. I was surprised with how much lime was used to prepare the fish but I’m a huge fan of lime and citrus with fish, so I definitely wasn’t complaining!

Our next ceviche: shrimp with charred octopus:


The shrimp was actually better than the shrimp I had at Maialino – cooked completely through but it had a great simple flavor and the charred octopus was great.

Our third ceviche was the tuna ceviche with pineapple and summer radishes:


We were surprised with the portions of the ceviche – very generous and definitely enough for three people (as the entire meal, not just appetizers!) The wines also had very generous pours and we definitely had enough for all of us to share. The tuna ceviche wasn’t my favorite, but was done well and I liked the taste of the tuna with the summer radishes (without the pineapple).

Before our last ceviche came, the server brought by Nuela’s version of French fries:


The cuts were very large – it looks like they had taken a large potato, cut it into five pieces, and deep fried it multiple times until the skin was very crunchy but the innards were really fluffy and mashed. Kristen really liked the fries (she loves fries and ice cream and somehow manages to stay svelte!)

Our last ceviche might have been my favorite – another snapper ceviche:


The snapper ceviche had a little sesame oil, chopped peanuts, and chili oil and reminded me of a simple Asian preparation of fish.

We were all full by the end of our meal and enjoyed all of the dishes. Next time, I’d love to go back and try their paella – they served two tables nearby the duck paella while we were there and I was definitely impressed by the amount of food each table received. I definitely want to try the restaurant again – thank you, Stephane, for giving us your reservation!

Nuela on Urbanspoon

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