In the music biz, we believe that good music will eventually prevail. If you keep putting out great records, your time in the spotlight will come. Take long time Infatuation favorite Phoenix, for example. They spent the better part of the last decade flying under the mainstream radar, releasing perfect indie-pop albums that anyone who actually paid attention to, fell in love with. Then they finally got what’s been coming to them in the form of a breakout single, and the Grammy for “Best Alternative Album.” The same philosophy can be applied in the kitchen. When you’re consistently cookin’ up the chronic, you can’t hide for long. Hell, even if you’re illegally preparing the perfect lobster roll and selling them through your mail slot in Brooklyn, someone in this town will get wind of it.
We’ve long considered Yerba Buena home to one of the more criminally underrated menus around. It was one of the first rave reviews we ever posted on this site, and for good reason. The food is tremendous. Famous for their cocktails, YB doesn’t receive the kind of culinary critical love it damn well deserves. Possibly because the original East Village location is slightly out of place – a more upscale, expensive restaurant in an area that caters to the exact opposite. While Yerba Buena East will remain their less well known flagship, it’s their new West Village spot, Yerba Buena Perry, that’s set to catch fire like Bluth’s Frozen Banana Stand and blow their cover.
A combination of everything that’s right about Latin American food, Perry’s menu reads like an Infatuation wet dream. Pork belly arepas, chorizo, fish tacos, ceviches, short ribs, and a new wrinkle for Yerba Buena, dry aged steaks served with four different dipping sauces. It all tastes as good as it sounds too. Add ridiculous cocktails, tables full of girls, excellent service and a prime location into the mix, and we’ve got ourselves a brand new go-to spot. Don’t sleep, this needs to be your next destination for a Girls' Night Out or Scoping Hot People adventure. Yerba Buena Perry for dinner, followed by drinks at Highlands, yada yada yada, stumble into Joseph Lenoard for breakfast the next morning. That's the move.
With huge chunks of avocado mixed with red onion, chipotle, and queso fresco, this dip is definitely different. It tasted like a combination of guac and salsa. We dig.
With so many good options, deciding which entrees to order was tough. We had to get one fish and the black cod got the call over the cachaca shrimp. Cooked with fennel, yerba mate consommé, and dill chimichurri, this small-ish piece of fish was spicy and delicious. An excellent way to balance a table otherwise filled with meat.
Everyone’s favorite Venezuelan sandwich snack. Served as a pair, these plump mini pitas come stuffed with coffee glazed pork belly and cabbage slaw. A must order.
If the fish tacos weren’t on the Perry St. menu, we would have had issues. Being one of my personal favorites, I happily wolfed down two of these baja style tilapia tacos with chipotle-mango slaw. They’re so good, I don’t care that I’m paying $13 for two.
That’s right, fried watermelon. Very different. Very cool. By the end of the night I was dunking watermelon fries in my drink and eating them.
Is that pop rocks in our spinach? Nope, those are dried figs bringing this simple green to life.
We don’t do dessert much, but we have a hard time resisting dulce de leche. The Panqueque was great (dulce de leche crepe, spiced pumpkin seeds, pistachio ice cream), but it was the sundae that absolutely stole the show. Two scoops of dulce de leche ice cream with bananas, candied pecans, and dulce de leche drizzled on top. Amazing.