restaurants
Islero
247 East 50th Street
212 752 1414

Delightful Islero restaurant is one of those places that sneaks up on you. Sure it's a pretty room, a long lean bar leading into a warmly lit marble and photo- accented cozy dining area; but unostentatious when considering itís attracted surprise gigs from members of the Gipsy Kings and diners such as Shaquille OíNeal. Named for the Miura bull that in 1947 gored and killed the famous bullfighter Manolete in Andalusia, Spain; owners David Chiong, Christopher Bianchi (Crave) and chef and owner Luis Gonzalez (BondSt, JoJo, Mercer Kitchen, Coffee Shop) are serving up can't miss dishes such as the Huevo starter, a pimenton crusted soft cooked egg with wild mushrooms and house smoked bacon; a gazpacho soup, served slightly creamy, poured chilled at the table over a diced market veggie and melon compote; the Arroz Cremoso Negro, Forbidden Black Rice done with truffle oil and drunken goat cheese; a melt- in- your- mouth hanger steak and the seafood paella for two. In the ceviches, the standout is the tuna. Done in young coconut water, with radishes, Padron chilies, lime juice and cilantro, it is like summer in a plate. Tequila flights, sangria and creative cocktails using Agave such as the Islero mint julep done with bourbon, muddled mint, cucumber, lemon, raspberry and the Ginger Pisco sour done with ginger cognac, egg white, lime juice and mint, round out wonderful meals.

$$$

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