July 8, 2011

HB Eats: Chef Aaron Sanchez's Centrico

My recent trip to Centrico (update: Centrico is now unfortunately closed for business), Chef Aaron Sanchez's Mexican eatery in Lower Manhattan, was fantastic.  The restaurant’s vast open dining area, high ceilings, and colorful décor give it a festive vibe and spacious feel. You can even check out all of the action in the kitchen as you grab a margarita at the bar.   I picked a very early reservation that day because I had plans to see the show Sleep No More New York afterwards.  SNMNY is a very cool interactive play based on Shakespeare’s Macbeth, and if you haven’t seen it yet it’s worth checking out! 

I decided to start my meal off with Tacos de Lengua- braised tongue tacos with tomatillo-avocado salsa.  A few years ago the thought of tongue definitely would have freaked me out, but ever since I went to China and sampled a mix of unknown and exotic delicacies, I am slightly more adventurous in my everyday life. As a side note, the only food that I couldn’t bring myself to try in China was a sautéed honey bee! That still bothers me. :) Anyway, back to the meal...the tongue tacos were seasoned and cooked perfectly and went really well with the creamy salsa. The tongue actually reminded me of kielbasa (not chicken in case you were wondering).  It was definitely one of the best tacos that I have had in New York, ever!  

For my entree I devoured a whole lotta pork, which was followed by another beauty: the Pastel de Chocolate Mexicano.  If there are any other Food Network groupies out there, you may remember that Chef Aaron lost his Chopped All-Stars finale round because his molten chocolate cake, based on the same recipe  used at Centrico, was dry.  Well the cake that I received with my meal, which was served with choco-chile sauce and corn ice cream, was moist, light, and perfect.  As a wonderful surprise, the kitchen also gave us a trio of fruit sorbet, on-the-house.  I definitely think Aaron deserves a rematch after tasting all of the great authentic Mexican cuisine at Centrico!  

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