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a NYC taste of CUBA

A fashion Girl’s gotta eat too! Much to the surprise of my colleagues and friends, I’m a bit of a foodie – or at least, a bit of a picky foodie – if that counts.  With the topic of CUBA swirling around, especially after recently viewing the Havana Motor Club screening in celebration of Tribeca Film Festival, the idea of a cuban something something was on my agenda.

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I’m always looking for a new flavor variety to enhance my veggie + fish and boring non-gluten palate, and the idea of Chef Garcia’s (food network) take on Cuban was of interest. So I hiked uptown with a friend to try out A.G. Kitchen, with a menu featuring Cuban food alongside some latino classics. Here’s how the tasting panned out:

NYC cuban A.G. KITCHEN by Chef Garcia FashionDailyMag 1

From the friendly non-frilly atmosphere equipped with terrace style seating outside, the restau on Columbus reads W E L C O M E all. Inside, the multi-color bar area with booth seating for the adults, a private tropical room perfect for little gatherings, and a main room that is family friendly – and yes, kid-friendly.

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Though AG is known for the burgers, Cuban delicacies and surf + turf, my first YES was all about the Guacamole- a staple in my weekly diet – and though the papaya possibility was of interest, I stuck to my basic guac. Next on the try out was the most delicious variation of dates wrapped in bacon with some endive + blue cheese. I unwrapped the bacon (I’m not technically a vegetarian, I just don’t eat meat) and discovered a textured jewel: a date filled with almonds and topped with a sauce in a delightful texture enhanced by the endive – a must try. (BACON WRAPPED DATES).

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Next, the Seafood Ceviche was on my agenda. The shrimp x lobster combo enhanced by the mango + avocado was divine. No fishy taste believe it or not, and a wonderful sauce masterfully created by Chef Garcia to keep it moist without being soupy.

I was on board to try out some more unique flavors by now, and went for the Mahi next.  My friend that came with me just got back from a trip to Cuba, and went for the traditional Cuban ROPA VIEJA braised short ribs with rice + beans, tamales + madras… which apparently is authentic and just as yummy if not better.

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My surprise was the crab that was even easier to love than the Mahi Mahi, thanks to the wonderful flavor combo packed with tropical flavor. My curiosity kept me dipping into the non-meat area of my friend’s Ropa Vieja plate (usually for 2), and let me tell you – the tamales are melt in your mouth and so were the madras. Almost dessert yummy enough.  And on that topic, the fun of dessert kicked in. Check out the desserts via the view finder- I went for the banana medley. See my pics ‘cause words are not needed.

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Of course during the course of the evening, we tried some tropical flavored beverages with rums + fresh greens. My favorite had a cilantro lime flavor. A perfect accompaniment to my meal. Who knew a taste of Cuba can be so good in NYC? If you’re fishing for something to eat with a spark of newness, go for the tropical cuban flavor at A.G. Kitchen. With a master chef behind the menu, your taste buds are in for a treat – even if you’re a skinny SoHo girl like me- yummy times + smiles… and we’ve all got to eat sometime.

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A.G. Kitchen is located at 269 Columbus Ave. I recommend you go with a friend you can share with, cause you’re going to want to dive into many foods offered on the menu… and I can’t wait to go back to try more.

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A NYC taste of Cuban food written by brigitte segura.

photo credit: brigitte segura + by courtesy.

A.G. Kitchen // 269 Columbus Ave // NY, NY 10023
(212) 873-9400

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