I'm sure all of the city folk appreciated the pun. The entire Northeast got hit pretty hard last night by a snow storm. Anyway, the good news is that despite the chill, locals and visitors alike can enjoy the warmth of an authentic Chilean meal at Pomaire.
It is so nice to be able to say the above statement and be sure of it. I spent half a semester in the South American country during the year studying abroad, eating and documenting my way through 3 meals on each day of the five months that I was there.
When my parents visited, my father, a native to Mexico, was not so impressed with Chilean cuisine; it is not very spicy, not very complicated, and nothing like Mexican or even Peruvian food of which the most people may be familiar with.
Yet traditional Chilean food, although simple, has a medley of flavors, influenced by the vast diversity of plant foods and products that are naturally available. And this is all thanks to it's varying landscape and the cultures of the native Chileans, most prominently, the Mapuches.
Quite impressively, Pomaire, a small restaurant in the Theatre District of New York City seems to have chosen the most delicious of plates served across the nearly 3,000-mile country from north to south. And with the Pacific Ocean to the west, the Andes Mountains to the east, each one will be unlike anything you've ever had before.
When I visited last year, my boyfriend and I chose a delightful bottle of wine from the Concha y Toro vineyards as our poison, but I'd recommend their Pisco Sours as well. A Pisco Sour is a mixed drink made of pisco (a brandy made from Muscat grapes grown in designated areas across the country), lemon juice, sugar, and the occasional egg white. I can assure you it's deliciously refreshing, and if you happen to get your hands on a bottle of Capel or another brand of Chilean pisco , I'd highly recommend making it for yourself.
Soon after we were served a basked of pan amasado (a fresh-baked Chilean bread) and pebre (a Chilean condiment, somewhat similar to salsa, but as you will see in this recipe, unique as well). For our appetizers we ordered a spectacular Empanada de Pino (baked in a wood-burning oven and classically filled with seasoned minced (not ground) meat, onions , a single, hard-boiled egg, olives, and raisins) and Camerones a Pil-Pil (spicy shrimp). The latter was my personal favorite because it was made with the Mapuche spice of Merquen which has the most wonderful smoky yet ubiquitous flavor.
At the attentive waiters suggestion (Pomaire has great service), I had the Chilean Humita (a bundle of fresh, sweet corn ground and cooked in the husk) as my entree while my boyfriend enjoyed the Chilean Corvino Sea Bass with roasted vegetables and rice.
We had an amazing experience (and I caught it all on camera if you'd like to see more pictures.) The entire atmosphere of this small, dark, yet undeniably cozy restaurant is most definitely inviting to say the last, and each piece of decor, beautiful. Wall decorations and table embellishments were hand-chosen by the owner, Denic, to reflect his own childhood home in Chile.
I invite you to enjoy the culinary comforts of his home, and my once-adopted one.
Pomaire – 371 West 46th Street, New York City
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