Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Synergy at Sinigual

In my "Everything But the Kitchen Sink" section, I've posted the openings of a few different restaurants around the city. I have gotten a lot of response from one in particular...Sinigual. Miss Menu finally made it to the restaurant to try it for myself, and am pleased to report that my experience went SO much better than at its sister restaurant Chevy's! I had the privilege of being joined by NYCFoodGuy, who you may remember from my delicious (but gluttonous!) East Village Food Tour.

The restaurant itself is has a very cool atmosphere. Hard to believe that it use to be a Casual Corner in that spot! The decor is modern, yet still has a rustic feel to it. Chandeliers hang scattered around the ceiling like an art installation. We learned that the large mural that runs the entire length of the restaurant is covered in real gold flakes. Ooh la la! There's a large bar area in the front that I could definitely see being a popular after-work spot, especially with Sinigual's extensive margarita and drink menu. I'm curious if El Rio Grande is nervous about another good Mexican restaurant/bar opening up just a few blocks away!

We were able to taste a lot of different dishes, so let's not waste any time here! First up were the fresh, handmade flour tortillas brought to the table instead of the typical chips. They were served with three dip/spread options: salsa roja, honey butter, and salsa pasilla.

The tortillas were delicious, and the two salsas both had a great flavor. The honey butter was a surprising addition, but when it melted on the warm tortilla, it was so good.

Goes without saying that I was very interested in sharing a few things so I could try as many dishes as possible. I usually don't eat shrimp, but the waiter's description of the Chipotle Barbecue Shrimp sounded too good to pass up: jumbo shrimp sauteed in jalapeno butter, roasted red peppers, and pasilla chiles, served in a chipotle raspberry-tamarind barbecue sauce. It sounds a lot more complicated than it was, which was delicious - plain and simple!

Next, we ordered two of the Mexican Specialties to share: Dos Favoritos and Fresh Fish Tacos. Each entree had so many components to it that it was almost like having three times the number of dishes to try. Needless to say, I was a happy camper. Part "Uno" of the Dos Favoritos was made up of a three-cheese panko crusted chile relleno that was topped with a pineapple-mango salsa. I have mentioned time and time again my love for cheese and for all things fried. So, when those two worlds come together, only good things can result! The taste of the chile itself was just so-so, but the three cheese (I would guess cojita, jack, and one other) deep-fried with panko breadcrumbs was just ridiculous. In a good way! Part "Dos" was a grilled chicken and roasted corn enchilada, which I felt pretty neutral towards. It surprisingly didn't have a ton of flavor, especially the chicken. It was served with refried black beans and pasilla-cilantro rice (hence the green color).
Next up were the fresh fish tacos. Grilled striped bass was mixed with pico de gallo and a fruit relish, and served in more of the great tortillas. The combination of the sweet and salty was great, and the fish was grilled to perfection. On the side was more of the rice, a delish sweet corn cake (imagine a super-sweet corn muffin), fresh guacamole, and to round it out, a bowl of red and black beans that was almost like a stew.

When our food arrived, we asked for more plates and then divided and conquered. What resulted was the chance to try eight different items from only two entrees. And A LOT of fantastic food! This was a serious Mexican feast!

Sinigual is a very welcomed addition to the neighborhood, and I am so glad I finally got to try it. The restaurant successfully takes typical Mexican dishes and adds great twists to them using interesting sauces or different preparations. I can see Sinigual becoming a great go-to spot, whether it's for a business lunch, a happy hour margarita, or a fantastic neighborhood dinner. Everything just really worked.

Sinigual
150 East 42nd Street
Actual location is 3rd Avenue b/t 41st & 42nd Streets
website

4 comments:

VeggieGirl said...

Sounds like yet another great restaurant!

NYC Food Guy said...

Sounds like you have great taste not only in food but dining companions as well...

great review miss menu

Dani said...

That barbeque shrimp sounds and looks yummy!

Karissa said...

I work at the Sinigual in Brandon Florida, and you should know that EVERYTHING on the menu is just as huge and delicious.
the fresh guacomole is amazing, as well as the flan, for the next time you go!