It's a column about the best eats out there!! (Don't you get any ideas!)
Well its time to bring it back!
As a born and raised New Yorker I feel that there are sections of this city that people don't go to unless they work there or have some sorta business there. Yes I mean places like Washington Heights and Battery Park City that you would ask yourself why do I need to travel so far just to eat? But I'm actually talking closer!
There are sections of midtown that I feel are very uncharted territory, especially for eating. We all know ninth ave is a haven for restaurants as well as a good section of midtown east but what about central midtown? Like early/mid 30s from let's say fifth ave to seventh ave. I mean what is there? Macy's? Porn Stores? Fabric Stores that have been "going out of businesses" for years? It's December in NYC no thank you... but as far as food... hmmm... The Tick Tock Diner is really all that comes to mind and that's unfortunate because I just happened to stumble upon someplace quite fantastic.
Leña , much like another one of my favorite places called Peter's Since 1969, is reinventing they way we think about fast food. No more is it just chicken nuggets and fries! Now we are being offered home cooked meals at a reasonable priced, that is locally sourced, within our calorie allotment and really freakin' fantastic!
I had a chance to sit down with Chef Ronny and in his own words...
"In New York people tend to believe that Latin food is Mexican food because most of the Latin restaurants in the city are Mexican. Restaurants like Lena can show people that there are many more Latin cuisines available in Central and South America that are as flavorful, with more diverse ingredients and more innovative than Mexican cuisine."
"Leña is a Latin grill that fits right in the middle of a quick service restaurant and a table service restaurant, grabbing the best characteristics of both worlds into one, which means we have someone who takes the food to you/cleans after you but still the customer orders at the counter and pays before they eat. "
We have a seasonal menu full of fresh ingredients everything made from scratch in the house from beverages to sauces. We have a limited service but best of all we are quick and affordable."
I couldn't have said it better and let me tell you it's the truth! When I was invited to dine at Leña I had no idea what I was in for! From fresh squeezed juices (blackberry was my fav!) to tostones (fried plantains) to my steak were perfection! I say this is a great place to be daring and create your own meal from the menu cause you are sure to be pleased! Oh and get a few different sauces! My fav was the chimichurri! If in a rush they have pre-decided items that you can order so you don't have to think! Either way you are bound to have a great Latin meal! Don't forget to order some churros as well! I had some residual salt on my fingers while I was eating them and it sent me over the moon!!
Overall, I would say avoid the holiGay crowds by shooting over to Leña for lunch or dinner. It'll definitely give you the much needed refuge from the crowds and a happy tummy!! Tell them I sent ya...i don't know how far it'' get you but it's worth a shot! haha! You can also check them out here ---> DELICIOSO!
Leña Latin Grill
34 Wet 35th Street (bet 5th & 6th aves)
646 274 1995 (we shan't discriminate just because they don't have a 212! HA!)
The Gay Gourmet!™
©2011 Michael Muñoz