I always like to catch a few restaurants during Restaurant Week in winter and again in summer. A lot of New Yorkers do not like Restaurant Week because they feel that the quality is not as good and that portions are smaller. Most Restaurant Week regulars, however, know that there are a few great bargains for fine cuisine hidden in that extensive list of restaurants. Gastroarte is one of them. I’ve written about Gastroarte before, as I’m a fan of Chef Jesus Nunez’s beautifully artistic creations modernizing Spanish cuisine.
Chef Nunez greeted us before we ordered and recommended we try the pear salad and hake fishballs, as being signature dishes.
Where are the cheese, quince and walnuts, you ask? Hidden beneath the pleasantly dressed mixed greens.
Another appetizer option: a creamy golden corn soup studded with English peas, fava beans and Serrano ham.
I ordered the marinated pork ribs with vegetables, a spicy sauce and cumin yogurt. I enjoyed this dish very much. The perfectly cooked pork was topped with a lovely, spicy barbecue sauce. With a sizable portion, it was quite filling.
For dessert, we all opted for the torrija with vanilla cream and strawberries. None of us had had torrija before, but it is similar to French toast. This dish was like a comforting, warm bread pudding with berries.
The Restaurant Week menu at Gastroarte provides an opportunity to try the restaurant’s classic dishes and whets your appetite for more of Chef Nunez’s creations. Chef Nunez will be put to the test against Chef Michael Symon on the July 29th episode of the Iron Chef. Judges include Jose Andres and Andrew Zimmern. It’s no secret I’m rooting for Chef Nunez!