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Manhattan & NJ (Bergen County) Restaurant Reviews

Ian Hunter's Guide to Manhattan and Bergen County, NJ's Best Restaurants, Bars, and Gourmet Markets

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SOUTH AMERICAN
 

K Rico: South American Steakhouse. 772 9th Av @ 51st-52nd; 23/20/$65; 977-6000;  First up – the weekend brunch is great – unlimited Mimosas, Bloodys and Margaritas for $25 with entrée;  Great menu as well; For dinner, you must have a giant steak for $40 something – cheap for the genre;  The mixed grill for 2 at $62 is a bargain; Mixed Cerviches as well; Roasted Oysters; Chilean Sea Bass;  Giant Port Chop;  Fun menu – not a place they bring skewers.

 
Churrascaria Plataforma: Brazilian. 316 W 49th @ 8-9th; 23/19/$71; All you can eat MEAT. Carnivore Heaven. Skewers of Meat from friendly servers. Giant all you can eat buffet/ salad bar keeps even vegetarians happy. $10 parking for up to 5 hours. Perfect for large groups or birthdays;  Tip for newcomers – don’t grab all the meat they throw at you- wait for the best of the best (short ribs and steak).  $62 for dinner prix fixe for everything.  Lunch is $39.  Worth it
 

Nano Ecuadorian Kitchen: Ecuadorian. 691 10th Av @ 47th-48th;  24/14/$32; 646-649-4678; Absolutely traditional menu; Ask the waiter to suggest something based on your preference; Great portions – enough to share; Very small space so make a Rez; The Seco de Pollo – spicy and sour chicken with rice and plantains is popular; Try a Rum based cocktail; Experiment with something new. 

 
Chimichurri Grill: Argentinean/Steak. 609 9th Av @ 43rd-44th; 23/17/$55; 586-8655; The place to go for a ‘tier-2’ steakhouse; More affordable than the Del Friscos of the world; The Short Ribs and the mixed grill will leave you mouth-watering and extremely stuffed; Tons of salads, sides and appetizers; Go for the swiss chard empanada apps!  Grilled calamari;  Tons of grilled meats to select from for main course.
 
Estancia 460: Argentinean. 460 Greenwich @ Desbrosses-Watts; 21/15/$40; 431-5093; Rustic setting with outside seating; Hearty menu with Italian inspired dishes as well – many pasta options; Seared meats on the grill stand out. Portions are very large. There is a romantic vibe and setting and excellent service; Every Thursday – Strip Steak for $19.95. Lunch and Brunch menus available. Been around 20+ years;  Bronzino; Blackened Port Chop; Pizza options. Cocktails $12, Sangria $8. 
 
Novecento: Argentinean. 343 WB-Way @ Broome-Grand; 22/18/$45; 925-4706; Delicious steaks; Trendy area. Not a typical steakhouse – this place is fun! Bistro digs. Skirt steak and empanadas are excellent; Sitting at the bar for your meal is fun if looking for a casual evening; Good for private parties; They even have some pasta dishes and other non-traditional steakhouse items. Try the empanadas, Tuna Tartare or Burrata appetizers.
 
Casa: Brazilian. 72 Bedford @ Commerce; 22/20/$43; 366-9410; Diamond in the ruff; Truly delicious food for the genre; Not just meat/ steak dishes- menu has many traditional Bahia and Minas offerings; Seafood stew is tops. So are the caipirinhas. The concentration is on a unique, authentic experience. The feel is one of a Brazilian home and you’ll receive home cooking!  Brunch served;  Large menu of classics.
 
Balvanera: Argentinean. 152 Stanton @ Norfolk-Clinton; 26/20/$55; 533-3348;  Former Nobu chef Fernando Navas creates this masterpiece that does large and small plates; Rising star and service makes you feel like family; Date friendly for sure; Lunch and dinner and great happy hour 4-7pm daily;  Burrata, grass fed steak, Octopus, Striped Bass.  If you are unsure – come for Happy Hour & enjoy the low-priced bites.

 
Mancora: Peruvian. 99 1st Av @ 6th St; 22/15/$31; 253-1011; Bargain basement, yet high end quality Peruvian fare; Large, filling servings; Homemade meals; Authentic. Fresh fish, the best Chicken and meat dishes to die for; Large selection on menu. Try their excellent ceviche; Candle lit décor and somewhat trendy; You can order half a Rotisserie chicken with a side for $10!!; Bottomless Brunch – Mimosa, Sangria or Bloody Marys;
 
Buenos Aires: Argentinean. 513 6th St @ Ave A-B; 23/17/$38; 228-2775; Under the radar; Authentic local cuisine; Grilled meats and perfection in empanadas; Succulent steaks- best being the skirt steak; Carnivores playground; Large, inexpensive wine list. Short ribs, and shrimp in garlic butter also outstanding; Even have a few pasta dishes and seafood selections. Something for everyone. Order the short Ribs!  
 
Caracas Arepa Bar: Venezuelan. 93 E 7th St @ Av A-1st Av; 26/17/$20; 529-2314; As good as Arepas (corn filled rounds with fillings) can get; Tons of varieties to choose from; Immensely popular; Incredibly tasty food; Always a line to get it for a seat as it is small- but worth it. Just wildly popular and authentic; Happy Hour drinks include $2 beers and a carafe of Rum Punch for $16; 
 

Fogo de Chao: Brazilian. 40 W 53rd @ 5th-6th Av; 25/24/$70; 969-9980; All you can eat meat extravaganza; Near Roch Center; Beautiful triplex setting – like a ballroom; Best cuts of meat are the beef – sirloin and other steaks; Huge salad bar to accompany the feast; Dinner is $63 for full experience.  It is $40 for lunch.  If you get less items or just salad bar it is $29/$18.  Amazing quality. 

 

Zebu Grill: Brazilian. 305 E 92nd @ 1-2nd; 22/16/$42; 426-7500; Brazilian Steak; Top-notch churrasco; Powerful drinks. More reasonable prices than others; Rio-level caipirinhas; Friendly neighborhood service and a fun option. Extremely popular;  Fairly intimate setting; Not the kind of place where they come with skewers of food – you order off the menu.