Rayuela Alex Urena Rayuela
165 Allen St. (Stanton St.)
New York, NY 10002
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Cuisine: Nuevo Latino
The cutesy name hides some serious Latin cuisine at this Lower East Side joint.
Openings: Dinner nightly, Brunch Sat.-Sun.

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Rayuela, New York, NY


Rayuela Restaurant Review:


At first, diners can’t help but feel that the owners behind this spot are playing children’s games. It’s not just that the name means “hopscotch” in Spanish, but the tri-level setting feels somewhat like a glorified tree house. An olive tree even grows right through the middle of it, stretching from the clubby ground floor lounge up to the second floor dining room, where sheer drapes flow around moss-green couches and raw wood and stone accents complete a rustic hideaway tone. Despite all the fun and games, the kitchen isn't joking. Rayuela‘s multiple ceviche offerings are as skillfully balanced as the lounge’s cocktails, from wild sea bass drenched in passion fruit sauce to red snapper in carrot, ginger and orange juice. Slow-cooked shiitake and rabbit stew and poached halibut with zucchini purée aren’t flippantly conceived. Sides are just as fun, especially the whole plantain stuffed with ground beef and caramelized apples.

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