Offbeat New York

Upper East Side

Kurio

338 East 92nd Street
Between 1st & 2nd Avenues
New York, NY 10128
Phone: 212-828-1267
A small upper west-side gem with turquoise walls and pin point lighting. There’s a small bar and less than a dozen of the black wood tables. But this family restaurant offers an eclectic menu and unique presentations.

First thing to do when you come in – order one of their lovely, and potent, mojitos. A rum and mint drink, many places find it hard to balance the intense taste of mint, which can often overpower. But here it was perfectly balanced and surprisingly potent. Four of us sat down. Four of us drank mojitos. Four of us became a very happy group.

For starters we tried the chick pea fritters which were deliciously spicy. The crispy spicy tuna rolls and the delectable salmon fritters with red pepper were also winners. The hunger for Italian was sated by bacala (salted dried cod fish). This may well be an acquired taste, but if you love bacala, you’ll truly go for Kurio’s version. It was served in a light tomato broth with capers and came with rice seasoned with cilantro. They also have a well-executed twist on their lasagna. Their excellent Polenta Lasagna with Sausage and Beef is served with a center of perfectly cooked light polenta surrounded by a ring of sausage and beef sauce and everything covered with a layer of mozzarella cheese. The braised lamb shank with gnocchi was tender and delicious.

Choosing was tough, with main plates like spicy shredded pork burrito, spinach and okra stew with fresh crabmeat, and loin of pork in adobo sauce. Comfort food was present with Kurio’s Mac & Cheese Casserole, steak fried chicken and Mom’s homemade meatloaf. Vegetarians could also find wild mushroom ravioli in pink cream sauce, filet of tilapia in a soy glaze topped with spinach.

Reviewed by Neala Schwartzberg
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