Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Yerba Buena Restaurant

The mood and décor at Yerba Buena, “takes its inspiration from old-time Havana.” There’s nothing over-the-top about it; the place thankfully does not look like a movie set. A small, bright white neon sign is planted in the restaurant’s window, and the room is breezy and dark. Diners can check in on the kitchen, which is separated from the dining room with a large glass window.

Patria alum Giovanny Campos and chef Lenis Gonzales are all lit up over their new carribean-latino resto, Yerba Buena, in the East Village. At Yerba Buena, Gonzales is cooking things like braised oxtail with picadillo peppers and rice ($22), and rabbit with oyster mushrooms and mote ($24).

The bartender is Artemio Vasquez, late of PDT and Pegu Club. Cocktails (all $12) are mercifully gimmick-free and classics. The “Dark ‘n Stormy” is strong and garnished with a meaty piece of candied ginger; Pisco Sours are true to recipe, with four basic ingredients.
23 Avenue A. (212) 529-2919

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