This Tuesday we went to the East Village because Gilberto swears he’s never been there. Even though he has. We started at the most appropriate St. Marks Place. I love this area and it’s always fun to just stroll through.
As usual we weren’t looking for anything in particular when we spotted a new Belgian fries place called Friterie. We split an order of fries with a chipotle mayo dipping sauce and a sesame peanut with scallions. The fries were done to perfection and the place is cool as well. It’s one of those places I have to go back because you know I’m going to have to try all the sauces. I’m a sucker for sauces. They could serve carrot sticks but if there’s a list of dipping sauces? I’m in line.
We wandered a bit and came across a little gem called Black Ant. Black Ant has a sleek design that kind of feels out of place in the east village but the staff was great and chill, so they fit the bill. Gilberto argued that it didn’t look like a Mexican restaurant because there were no ponchos and pinatas hanging from the ceiling. He’s getting there, one day at a time. Naturally we started with guacamole that contained mango and pomegranate. It was great of course. My theory is, if a Mexican restaurant can’t get guacamole right why bother ordering off the menu? Finish your guacamole and beer, pay the bill and leave and never look back.
For an appetizer we ordered the ceviche. Sorry I can’t remember what fish was in the ceviche. I think it was hamachi. I ordered it because I wanted to taste the black ant salt. The ceviche tasted terrific and was perfect for the cool summer night as we sat outside. It was fresh and clean tasting with a hint of smoke from the black ant salt. I particularly liked the black ant salt. The black ant salt reminded me of a BBQ-y smoke like flavor. Almost like a BBQ flavored potato chip. Personally, I loved it! If they jarred it and sold it, I’d buy it.
We also ordered the chapulin crusted shrimp tacos. Chapulin is grasshoppers, I was intrigued by this. They were terrific, though I wouldn’t say they had a distinct flavor that I could get from the chapulin. I couldn’t get anything but crunch, maybe if I tried it on it’s own. I’ve heard of grasshopper tacos and I would love to try them. I just don’t know where to find them here in New York. Anyone know a place, please let me know.
I thought dessert was going to be your typical tres leche’s or flan. Nope. Their pastry chef is pretty bad ass. Spicy tomatillo sorbet on top of meringue with some kind of spicy foam of pomegranate, I think it was pomegranate with a jicama salsa, I think it was jicama. The server rattled off so many wonderful flavors and threw in the word “spicy” that I had to try it. I’m certainly glad I did. There was so much going on that I couldn’t comprehend what was happening but I liked the way it made me feel so I kept going back for more. I felt dirty but not ashamed dirty. You know what I mean?
Black Ant, I will be returning to soon and probably often. We only drank beers this time but their cocktail menu looks stellar as well and their brunch menu. Who doesn’t love brunch?
Have a great week everyone!