It’s been a while since we were able to post restaurant reviews in this space, and I’m so happy to bring them back with a look at our recent visit to Tasca, a neighborhood gem located on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. An ideal destination for a Date Night or any occasion, Tasca offers an elevated, contemporary blend of Spanish and Latin-Caribbean cuisines, paying homage to the traditional recipes and flavors of Spain, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, and Cuba. I have not been to another restaurant quite like it.
Perusing the extensive menu, it’s easy to plan a multi-course, culinary journey including an eclectic array of tapas, Spanish flatbreads, pintxos (Latin bar snacks), crudo and ceviche, slow-roasted asados, pescado a la plancha, daily fresh seafood specials, and delectable paellas for two, paired with fine wines and rums from around the world. But to start your meal, nothing beats one of Tasca’s refreshing and potent craft cocktails.
Moving on to main courses, we decided to focus on the Latin influenced steaks offered at Tasca. Anne chose the Chuleton De Buey, Chimena De Hierba Caribena (54): a 16-ounce ribeye in a ‘chimney of Caribbean herbs’ (a smoldering pinch of fragrant herbs garnishes the plate for a fun presentation). This massive, perfectly marbled steak is served over a bed of crisp vianda (a mix of diced and roasted yuca and plantains), which is a nice break from potatoes or rice. This steak is recommend for hearty appetites, or you could easily split it with a friend if you’ve perhaps already eaten too well on the tapas.
For my entrée, I opted for the Filete Miñon, Pastel De Yuca, Cabrales y Oloroso ($45), which has the tender, thick-cut filet resting on a crispy yuca cake, in a reduction of cabrales (Spanish blue cheese) and red wine, and topped with wild mushrooms, for an enticing mix of flavors.
Here’s a closer look at this dish after being slightly de-constructed by me, for easier consumption. This is such a terrific, umami-rich Latin take on a traditional steakhouse meal, and a welcome option for those who may prefer meat over seafood.
If you have followed my culinary adventures over the years, you know that I have a serious sweet tooth, so a meal does not feel complete unless it includes dessert. Luckily, the desserts at Tasca are true works of art — just look at them! Above is my choice, the Coconut Tres Leche ($12), an elevated twist on the traditional three milk cake, topped with a tiny scoop of mango sorbet and an elaborate cookie-twist garnish — almost too beautiful to eat (almost).
Anne is a fan of flan (hey, it rhymes!) so she had to go with the Flan De Caramelo ($12), a traditional caramel flan topped with scoop of raspberry sorbet for an appealing contrast of tastes, accompanied by macerated fruit, raspberry coulis, and shredded coconut garnish. What an indulgent meal! We had to roll back out onto the street.
Tasca has a lively bar area with additional hi-top seating if you’re just stopping in for drinks and tapas, and service is super friendly and attentive (our server, Justin was very gracious and helpful with all of our foodie questions). Please be advised that all Covid safety protocols are observed, with the inside dining room being reserved for fully-vaccinated patrons. There is however an abundance of comfortable outdoor seating along Columbus Avenue, so no one is left out, while everyone is kept safe.
Tasca is Located at 505 Columbus Avenue between 84th and 85th Streets (just a few blocks from the Museum of Natural History). Visit them online at This Link for menus, hours and to make reservations.