Rosie’s

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So, one of the cuisines I could eat just about everyday, is Mexican food. I love the flavors, the dishes, the drinks, all of it. Now, it’s appropriate to post this on Cinco de Mayo, but newly opened, Rosie’s in the East Village, is definitely a restaurant worth visiting on any day. 

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I actually remember this space when it was occupied by another restaurant, but everything from menu to aesthetic is different. Set in a dimly lit, casual, yet classy, setting, tables surround an island, rimmed by bar seats to watch cooking and tortilla making happen in front of your eyes. It’s like dinner and show all in one. 

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To drink, I ordered El Diablo (serrano-infused Galle 23 tequila, creme de cassis, housemade ginger soda, fresh lime). I really enjoyed this drink. You get hit with a really nice heat right off the start, with almost a bit of a smokiness that a Mezcal has. It’s slightly bitter, but has a little sweetness at the tail end, and definitely refreshing. 

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Then to start, of course, had to order Guacamole and Chips (onion, cilantro, radishes). I’m pretty much a chips and guac connoisseur (you can come over and check out my certificates and awards), and I have to say that I really loved theirs. The chips are perfectly crisp, with the right balance of salt, and the guac is fresh, flavorful, great consistency and texture, and I really enjoyed the julienne radishes on the top for a crispness and crunch.  

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There are entree portions, but many of the items are more small plates, or dishes to be shared, so I ordered a couple things to get a tasting. I ordered one of my most favorite dishes, octopus, and had their Ensalada De Pulpo (Veracruz-style octopus salad, avocado, olives, capers, mayonesa). Ok, so, I usually really don’t like mayo, but I was surprised at how much I loved it in this dish. You get that this is a Mexican restaurant, but you definitely see the Mediterranean influence here with the olives and capers, which is always a really nice contrast and balance for octopus, I think. The octopus itself was perfection, tender, a little char, and flavorful. If this came in a double portion (or, if I just ordered two of these), I would have been completely happy with this as a meal. But, I saved room to try more, which, you should probably do on your first visit anyway.

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Next, I had their Pescado Tacos (beer-battered merluza, chipotle-lime mayonesa). Loved these small but mighty tacos. The only thing I’ll say, is that they’re packed so fully, but only have one tortilla holding it all together, which, after much experience with soft shell tacos, know that they’re not always able to keep it all together. I did a pretty decent job, and I wouldn’t want them to not be piled so generously, but, perhaps a second tortilla on there would make it more secure. But, back to the flavor. The fish is light, and coated in a rich, crunchy batter, counteracted by a little pile of fresh slaw topped with a creamy, and slightly spicy, mayo.

The Shorts:
Name: Rosie’s
Location: 29 East 2nd Street, NYC
The Long and Short: Would I go back? For sure, I loved the food and still thinking about that octopus salad.
Would I recommend it? Definitely. The drinks are great, the food is delicious and the staff and service was amazing. 

The Sand Box

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So, at my stay at 1 Hotel South Beach, I completely enjoyed the Rooftop Bar, but on their main pool deck, they also have amazing dining as well.

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The Sand Box offers cantina-style poolside dining by Tom Colicchio, with an exceptional view of the beach. You can sit at the bar, or have the option of lounging underneath a cabana to enjoy your beverage and food.

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To drink, I ordered their Watermelon Jalapeño Margarita. Made with fresh watermelon and jalapeño, you get just the right balance of a refreshing, sweet drink with a kick of heat from the peppers. Basically, it’s heaven. 

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Then to start, I had their Guacamole with Chips. The guac is rich and creamy, with hints of citrus, bringing out the flavor of the avocado. The chips were the perfect, crispy, shovels to scoop up the guac, adding a nice balance of salt and crunch. 

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For my entree, I had the Pescado Tacos (yuca-crusted Lionfish, black kale slaw, avocado and chipotle-lime aioli). I loved these small, but mighty, tacos. I really loved that the Lionfish, light, flakey and tender, was crusted in yuca, giving it a bit of a bigger crunch. The only thing I’ll say about the fish, is that I wish there was a touch of salt or seasoning to the yuca, to give it a little boost to enhance the mild flavor of the fish. But, I will say, that the black kale slaw with the chipotle-lime aioli was actually the star of this dish. It added a nice texture, a crunch and creamy combo, and a really zesty zing from the lime that really complimented the mild flavor of the fish. 

The Shorts:
Name: The Sand Box
Location: 1 Hotel South Beach, 2341 Collins Ave Miami Beach, FL
The Long and Short: Would I go back? Without a doubt. The view is killer, and Mexican inspired food is one of my most favorite cuisines.
Would I recommend it? For sure. Warning: you may not want to leave the hotel ever. And, I guess, why would you? Beach, pool, drinks, food, done.