restaurants
Esperanto
145 Avenue C
212 505 6559

The wonderful Esperanto continues to be amazing after all these years. With live music and a festive decor, folks come here in dates or groups for the chayotte salad, the plantain crusted goat cheese (with sauteed leeks and cilantro pesto), bolinhos de peixe (fried potato and cod fish cakes), and the ceviches (which are traditional and watery - filled with snapper, peppers, cilantro, tuna, coconut and lime juices - not like the semi-sashimi versions floating around town these days.) A pollo de casa is fabulous (and our favourite) in an adobo coriander sauce served with corn and rice, just saucy enough in a generous portion. A second winner with us was the moqueca bahiana, done with shrimp or fish, a classic casserole in a small pot with peppers, coconut milk and tomato, for those who like their Brazilian food a bit more creamy and salty. They also do weekend brunch both days and Mondays are 1/2 off bottles of wine days, all night long. A happy hour Sunday through Thursday starting at 4PM, is almost unnecessary with a drinks list this reasonable. Sparkling wine is a fabulous $6 and everything from the spicy margarita to the coco punch to a list of tequilas, rum, and port beat out all the pricier options in town. No wonder it's still the best South American place in town after all this time.

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