Rayuela (ra-yue-la), Spanish for hopscotch, illustrates the gourmet Latin American and Spanish menu at this Lower East Side restaurant. The menu hops among the best recipes from a dozen Spanish-speaking countries—effectively erasing their boundaries.
The restaurant, named after the experimental novel by South American writer Julio Cortázar, introduces Estilo Libre Latino (Freestyle Latino) cuisine.
It is owned by Executive Chef Máximo Tejada, up-and-coming restaurateur Hector Sanz and Paul Fernandez.
It respects yet redefines traditional Latin American and Spanish dishes including ceviche and tapas.
For example, ceviche will marry lobster, red snapper and tuna with bits of mango, guava, star fruit and mild poblano and chipotle peppers, according to the restaurant.
Paella will “go green” with cilantro and spinach; empanadas will use whole corn kernels instead of wheat flour and gazpacho will be given a fun make-over with cilantro oil, avocado ice cream and cucumber sorbet
This cavernous, sleek Lower East Side Manhattan double-decker loft space buzzes with trusty, elegant waiters sharing heartfelt cuisine presentations.
An internal olive tree grows through both floors that overlook Allen Street, which is surprisingly quiet for a wide city thoroughfare with a median that once supported an elevated subway line.
Spanish-influenced countries are connected to seafood-hardy waters, and this gracefully appointed eatery celebrates this starting with lobster ceviche.
If lobster and shrimp, grilled pineapple, jalapeno, young coconut water infused with lemongrass and ginger, garnished with Uruguayan caviar doesn’t get you going, I don’t know what will.
Rustic yet chic, the cocktail lounge atmosphere drink menu also wows with pan-Latin seasonal ingredients including agave nectar and sage.
This freestyle Latino experience honors yet redefines contemporary dishes including, but not exclusive to Peru, Ecuador, Venezuela, Mexico, Cuba, Colombia, as well as Spain.
High-end ethnic cuisine doubling as inspired comfort chow; soul melting seafood and nice people.
Rayuela is open seven days a week for dinner. Reservations requested.
165 Allen Street
New York, 212 253 8840,
For more info go to: Rayuelanyc