Tuesday, July 17, 2012
The restaurant Raymi opened a few weeks ago on 42 West 24th Street in the space formerly occupied by Nuela. The owner, Richard Sandoval, retained Nuela's talented chef de cuisine, Erik Ramirez, who continues to produce modern Peruvian food of a very high caliber.
I've been to Raymi twice and enjoyed:
Corvina classico, sweet potato, habanero ciilantro - Corvina is a fish that is used in Latin America. The ceviche was very fresh with just the right amount of acidity. The sweet potato cubes lent a nice sweetness and textural contrast.
Peruvian corn cake, mushroom ragu, watercress - Excellent dish. It was like an arepa with sauteed mushrooms and a light watercress salad.
Grilled octopus and calamari, aji panca, mortar potato, radish criolla - My favorite so far. Aji panca is a Peruvian red pepper which lent a zesty note to the octopus and calamari.
Arroz con pato - carnaroli rice, crispy duck breast, duck leg, scallops, cilantro - This risotto based dish is quite good though not as spectacular as Nuela's duck paella with foie gras.
Cod cau cau with tripe, lentils, bok choy - I have no idea what cau cau is but the cod was perfectly cooked and paired with a deliciously tangy golden sauce.
Rice pudding, golden raisins, brown butter ice cream - The creamy rice pudding was served between thin crisp wafers. The brown butter ice cream was excellent.
Dulce de leche panna cotta, spiced cookie, burnt meringue - Very good dessert. A must for fans of dulce de leche.
Service is friendly though not yet as polished as Nuela's. The decor has changed from the intense red to a more relaxing blue, with rustic accents to soften the sleekness.
Raymi kept Nuela's communal tables so this would be a great place for groups. It's already hopping, at least in the bar area. Check out this wonderful Latin addition to the Chelsea/Flatiron neighborhood.