Pulperia: A Spanish American grocery store or bodega, often also functioning as a neighborhood drinking establishment for locals to gather.
La Pulperia in NYC opened last year in 2 locations - Upper East Side & Hell's Kitchen. This past week I had the pleasure of visiting the UES location, and, I must say, the name is quite humble compared to the beauty of the space! Upon walking in and being quickly greeted by the welcoming Maitre D', it was apparent the name is synonomous to the type of atmosphere the restaurant is looking to create: your welcoming neighborhood spot, to relax and enjoy some good food and drinks. The decor, however, is much more than just your neighborhood bodega.
The restaurant, designed by Andres Gomez, (Red Rooster, Whitehall, SoCo), is decorated with hand-painted tiles imported from Mexico and Brazilian beach wood, giving it a beachy yet refined look and feel. An ample bar surrounded by tables fills the front space, while the back room is flooded with natural sunlight from a large skylight. As I am a huge fan of skylights, especially in a city like New York where finding restaurants with natural sunlight can be somewhat challenging, I sat in the back space.
The menu from Chef/Owners Carlos Barros & Victor Medina, is a mix of staple Latin American dishes infused with Italian & Spanish influences. Some very original looking dishes immediately popped off the menu, such as "El Salmon Brulee". This dish was one of my favorites. A Verlassa Salmon Tartar, topped with a Cream Cheese topping Brulee'd to a crisp, finished with ginger leche de tigre and fresh strawberries. If that hasn't already peaked your interest, I'll let this picture do the talking...
Where to go from there? The robust menu can satisfy almost anything you may be craving with a particular focus on seafood. From ceviches to a full raw bar and staple South American fish dishes like Moqueta Mixta (Brazilian Seafood Stew). That being said, I also enjoyed one of the most delicious Hanger Steaks I have ever had in the city here! Like I said, this place has it all!
Don't just take my word for it, check it out yourself! Below some more pictures of the wonderful food and drinks I enjoyed, as well as maps detailing where to find each of the restaurants. Heading in to check it out? Let them know feLIZfoodie sent you, and I would love to hear what you thought of it!
PS - Just click on any of the pictures below to enlarge