Dimes

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Dimes isn’t new, they opened up in 2013, but they recently moved into a bigger space, which has been getting them a lot of attention. Probably because now, more people can join in the restaurant to get their healthy, yet still delicious fix. So, I was off to scope out the new digs at their Chinatown location.

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Ok, so, remember how I said they were expanding into a bigger space? Well, it’s still pretty cozy, but, this is New York, so, we’re all pretty used to smaller spaces. However, the amount of appeal from their menu is huge. I wanted to order about half of all the items on the menu, but I zoned in on a dish for my main. I ordered the Striped Bass (green curry, salmon roe, baby corn, patty pan squash). So. This was incredible. The only negative thing I can say about this dish, was that there wasn’t three times the amount of it for me to eat. It was so incredibly delicious, as well as beautifully plated. The vibrancy of colors immediately lures you in, and then the flavors win you over. The fish has a light and crisp skin, and underneath it’s perfectly tender and flaky. The green curry sauce was killer, it had a kick of heat, and if I could order a bowl of that as soup, it’d eat it all the time in the winter to keep me warm. All the other components went so well together, the crispness of the corn, the soft and tender squash, and the saltiness from the roe. Well done, dish, well done.

The Shorts:
Name: Dimes
Location: 49 Canal Street, NYC
The Long and Short: Would I go back? For sure. Service is great and the food is divine.
Would I recommend it? Definitely. I’m excited to get back to try so, so many more things.

The Cecil

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I’m not always uptown, so, I sometimes slack on all the great places that are there. But, this past weekend, I was in Harlem and got to experience dinner at The Cecil. This Afro-Asian-American brasserie (yes, it’s quite the combo) opens into a cocktail bar, with some seating in a cozy environment. Then, through the passageway, it opens up into the main dining room, chic, with large, beautiful paintings around the space. 

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To drink, I ordered the Blood and Fire (Olmeca Altos Blanco Tequila, Jamaican Sorrel, Fresh Lemon Juice). Now, I was a little confused when the drink wasn’t spicy, as its namesake would infer. Where’s the fire? Luckily, our bartender was quick to recommend the addition of some chili peppers to make all that happen. So, I usually love spicy tequila drinks, but, perhaps adding this chili into the drink may have altered its intended taste. Next time, I might try it as is, or, go for the Thai 75, which sounded really great. 

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To start, we had their Spicy Crispy Ginger Squid (Okra, Sweet Chili Peanut Sauce). This was awesome. I love squid, spice, peanut sauce, well, ok, all of these ingredients, so it wasn’t hard to decide on this one. It was really delicious, the squid was fried just right, not too much breading, but just enough to hold the drizzles of sweet chili peanut sauce, which gave it a little kick and smoothed out the flavor at the same time. 

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For my entree, I ordered Citrus Jerk Wild Striped Bass (African Fonio, Okra, Burst Tomatoes, Parsnip Purée). I really enjoyed this dish as well. The bass was tender and delicate, absorbing the savory, yet subtle flavors from the other components. It was my first time having fonio, a grain, which to me was a bit similar to small grain couscous. Set atop the creamy parsnip puree, the textures of all the ingredients went really well together.  

The Shorts:
Name: The Cecil
Location: 210 West 118 Street, NYC
The Long and Short: Would I go back? Yes, the vibe here is really great and the service was excellent.
Would I recommend it? I mean, how many places have you gone to that are serving Afro-Asian-American fare? Exactly. So, yes, I would recommend checking it out. Lots of options and flavors to choose from.