I love New York’s Restaurant Row (West 46th Street) because almost every cuisine of the world is represented here. And, if you have tickets for a Broadway show, there is an abundance of choices for pre-theater or post-theater dining.
Recently I was invited to sample the food at La Pulperia, a Latin American restaurant on Restaurant Row. Since I had read only good things about the place, I was especially eager to try the seafood, which had garnered the most raves.
My daughter and arrived on a Monday evening, when most theaters are dark, but the restaurant was very lively and had a happy atmosphere.
For starters, we ordered the Shrimp Cocktail and the King Crab Legs. The shrimp was succulent and tender and perfectly cooked—but the King Crab Legs were simply superb. First, and I have not had this experience elsewhere, our server donned a pair of gloves and proceeded to the hard work of cracking open the legs, leaving just the pleasure of eating for us. The cook on these legs was perfect and they were served with a luscious brown butter for dipping, which we’d never had before (and which I will now prepare at home in place of plain old melted butter).
As the seafood so far had been so good, I ordered a grilled lobster entrée. My daughter chose the organic rib-eye steak from Uruguay. Both arrived perfectly cooked, the steak nicely seared, the lobster with a beautiful char and the sinful brown butter for dipping. Instead of the usual sides, all entrees come with mini portions of all six sides: Eggplant Chambota, Spinach Mac & Cheese, Celery Root Gratin, Chimichurri Sauce and Grilled Broccoli Rabe. What a great idea that is—a veritable tasting menu of sides!
Needless to say, there was no room for desserts. But as it was important to see if the desserts lived up to the restaurant’s standards, we soldiered on and consumed some Tres Leches Chocolate Cake and crunchy cinnamon-dusted Churros along with the silky smooth Café con Leche.
Though we did not sample any cocktails, La Plumeria serves many hand-crafted versions, including the over-the-top Pulperia S’More, made with dark Peruvian chocolate, milk, Rumchata and liquor 43—rimmed with shredded toasted coconut and topped with marshmallow!
Bottom Line: Chef Carlos Barroz prepares exceptional food and the restaurant is a fun experience.
P.S. Every Sunday from 12 p.m. until 4 p.m., the restaurant has a Drag Brunch.
La Pulperia has two other locations: on the Upper East Side, at 1626 Second Avenue and Midtown at 151 E 57th St.