Foodie Friday: Ideya Latin Bistro

Last night I had the pleasure of meeting up with two friends from undergrad, Alex and Jaclyn, to try out Ideya Latin Bistro. Alex had been awesome enough to invite us there to use a gift card good for a four course meal for four people. Since there were only three of us, we each got to try out some extra things on the menu. I should note that normally when I go out to restaurants I don’t order various courses, so this was such a great opportunity to try out lots of dishes at a new restaurant. Thanks again Alex!

The place itself gives off a relaxing atmosphere. The tables are spread out (NYC find!) and the place has a casual, yet upscale feel to it. The waitress was super friendly, and I totally wanted her eyeglasses.

Our first course was liquid. Mojitos to be exact. I have never been a fan of cold minty drinks, but Ideya offered several different types of mojitos. I asked the waitress which mojito was the fruitiest and she recommended the mango. Let’s just say that I ordered a second.

While we pondered over the menu – it was hard to decide because a lot of things looked really good – we were brought the most creative spin on chips and dip I have yet seen:

Plantain chips with sweet salsa

They tasty faintly of banana and had a good salty crunch. The salsa was sweeter and went well with the chips. I can see myself craving these in the future.

For an appetizer, I ordered the Sopa de Calabaza which is a soothing pumpkin and sweet potato bisque with coconut milk and ginger. It was fabulous, but very rich, so I made sure not to eat too much of it.

I love soup.

When our main course arrived, the presentation was excellent. The food did not disappoint. I ordered salmon topped with mango chutney and collared greens. We also had rice and beans for the table.

The piece of salmon was huge, thick, and perfectly seasoned. The mango chutney was delightful yes I said delightful because it really was – and collared greens are another thing I don’t normally enjoy but these were yummy. The rice and beans were pretty standard, but I always like rice and beans so no complaints there.

Because we totally needed to eat more, the fourth course was dessert. I have mainly stopped eating rich desserts, but seeing that it’s not often I go to a four course meal for the low price of free, I decided to go for it. You have to live your life right?

Apple cake, cinnamon ice cream, and caramel sauce. WOW!

So the overall verdict? Ideya is amazing. It was one of the best dinners I have ever had in NYC. All the food was very fresh and prepared with a creative spin. Though we ate a lot, all the dishes except for dessert were fairly healthy. Also, the main dish is definitely big enough to bring home leftovers.

I know that being my first review you may think that I will gush over every restaurant I eat at, but that’s really not the case. Lately I have been preferring my cooking to what I can buy out, but this was a very strong exception. I recommend it for a fun night out with the girls – fruity mojitos! and an atmosphere conducive to chatting. Have you been to any great restaurants lately?

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