Posted by: Hungry Korean | March 22, 2010

Mediterranean tapas

Friday was gorgeous in NYC. The weather was warmed up to the low 70s and the city was alive with people enjoying the beautiful night. Cookie Monster and I decided to walk up to the Upper West side to try and find a restaurant with outdoor seating. After a nice walk, we decided to eat at Bello Sguardo — a restaurant that serves up Mediterranean/Moroccan tapas.

We started by sharing a bunch of tapas/appetizers.

The burrata (a creamier version of mozzarella) with basil, pesto and roasted peppers.

The flavors were ok. The burata was creamy. I do love this version of your standard mozzarella. This dish needed salt. It was bland.

The scallops with crushed red pepper, parsley, a touch of garlic and lemon.

The scallops were bland and also needed salt. Truthfully I think this dish would have been better as a crudo (raw).

The korean style chicken lollipops.

Gooey, deep fried and sweet with a kick of spiciness to it. The drumsticks sat on a bed of kimchi slaw. This was easily my favorite tapas but since I’m heading to Miami this weekend, I had one and let Cookie Monster have the rest.  Willpower…..

Since Cookie Monster doesn’t do oysters, I had the cornmeal crusted fried oysters.

If you like oysters and you liked fried food this is a good marriage. The oysters were plump and had a topping of spicy tomato sauce.  The oysters though were a bit fishier than I prefer though…

We also had the homemade hummus.

Hummus was tasty and creamy mix of ground chickpeas, garlic and olive oil.

Of course we need to have some sort of vegetable so we opted to get the brussel sprouts with chorizo and sprinkled with parmesan.

Eh. I think they should have rendered a bit of that chorizo fat out because the brussel sprouts had a lingering aftertaste of stale fat and oil.  The brussel sprouts could have been cooked a bit longer as they were tough.

Finally we shared the moroccan chicken with preserved lemon, green olives and roasted peppers.

UM they conveniently left out the fact that the dish is sprinkled with cilantro? Cilantro is a part of moroccan cooking? Of course I didn’t like this dish!  Seriously, restaurants should make it clear — cilantro is in fact one of those herbs that people either love or hate and given that it is such a strong flavored herb, it’s only fair to give notice.

All in all, this meal was ok. Nothing stellar and somewhat satisfying but most of the flavors were not spot on.

Bello Sguardo, 410 Amsterdam, New York, NY


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