165 Allen St, New York, NY | Directions 1000240.721229 -73.989610
Neighborhoods: Downtown, Lower East Side
It does something of an injustice to this bustling LES bar / restaurant / nightspot to speak of it as a "latino" or "pan-hispanic" operation. Yes, its eclectic menu moves effortlessly between central America, peru, brazil, and other traditions, and God knows its cocktail program is informed down to its core by Latino and carribbean flavors. But there's a sense of fun and improvisation here that defies traditional categorization. Hit the bar, order a few of Junior Merino's crazy cocktails, and start ordering what's interesting. You can be sure you won't get it anywhere else.
If you want to make a reservation and have to wait 1 hour without getting a table, this place is for you! – "We showed up on time for an 8:15 reservation on a Friday, and after 45 minutes wasted at the bar, we were still not sat at our table as plenty of people were sat before us. They then held our coat in coat check and avoided giving it to us with excuse after excuse when we told them we were going to leave and find another place to eat. They promised they would get their manager to remedy the situation but that didn't happen either by 9:15. Save your money and you time, and don't bother visiting Rayuela."
Great food, better environment – We highly recommend this restaurant. We went on a Thursday night and the environment was perfect, it was not loud, and the music was great.
Their menu is exquisite. The food is excellent! Their main menu feature, in my opinion, is the siete potencias ceviche and the razor clams. The entrees are big enough to share. We shared 3 appetizers and 2 entrees with 2 other friends and we were stuff by the end of our meal. If you like meat you must try the churasco and get it medium rare, their meat is imported from Uruguay and it just melts in your mouth.
Their wine list is great and reasonable priced.
Their staff was attentive and polite, they were knowledgeable of every ingredient and spice used for the preparation of the dish.
The entire dinner makes a good appetizer – We tried this restaurant yesterday night and was definately below expectations, especially compared to ANY of the restaurants in the area (Stanton Social, Le Souk, EU, Schillers, etc)
My wife and I order 2 appetizers and 2 main dishes; our waiter said that was enough; everything was perfect up to that moment, decoration and latin music were great.
We order a bottle of wine which was served in the glasses every time we had a zip, in less than 1 min. there was someone putting more wine in our glasses; I don't know what was the rush...
Then we receive the tiny mini appetizers; they were very good; but I have to tell you that EXTREMELY SMALL.
For main course, I had the "Vieiras con Huitlacoche" (Scallops)- Literally, 2 tiny scallops!, my wife had the Sea Bass which was originally prepared with bacon; however, because we don't eat pork, we ask for ANY vegetable substitution; the waiter suggested asparragus, but then, after asking the chef he said that it was possible, but with an extra-charge! to which we said "Unbelievable, but OK, please include ANY vegetable" - we ended up receiving a tiny sea bass with probably 1 leaf of spinach!
We were joking with the table on the side on how small were the portions!
I have to say that if you choose to go, plan to have dinner before or after a 4 course appetizer in Rayuela, or simply go to any of the great restaurants in the Lower East Side.
Great Hip and Trendy restaurant – Everything is great here - As a Manhattanite (spelling ?) , I was satisfied on all levels - The atmosphere - The clients are young, good looking and chique (Can't blame me for looking :-)), the setup is great - casual downstairs and a little more uptight- sit down dinner upstairs (nice tree in the middle), the food is delicious- and their signature drinks really good. Even the servers were hip and friendly. My date and I felt very comfortable. I will be back with more dates :-) , and friends.
Great Discovery!!! – I went there with a few friends on sat. The place is hip, the food is amazing and they have Goood!! drinks. The service was friendly and professional...Our server helped us through the menus to order and what she recommended were great.
TRIPLE-header! – After being warned of the small dinner portions and hefty price tag, I wisely decided to pregame before my dinner at Rayuela. However, despite my pre-dinner meal of 2 slices and a drink I still found myself hungry after a 3-course meal so needless to say, my night concluded with a 3rd meal and an empty wallet! Its also worth mentioning that I'm not a big eater/ person, just the average joe (not the plumber). (180lbs / 5'11")
Like a Dot Com in 01, this place is busted – My party had made a reservation there for a 9 o'clock dinner a week prior to the date. We arrived at 8:45 to find a cozy (ergo, packed) restaurant with great ambiance that surrounded an olive tree. Unfortunately we had to take in this scenery for about an hour and 20 minutes since we were not seated until 10:05. We would've just left at (9:15) had there not been a blizzard outside hindering our search for a new venue. They compensated us for our troubles with 2 bottles of sangria that tasted like it was comprised of 7 parts Hawaiian punc|-|, 1 part rubbing alcohol, and 3 parts r@ncid apple attained from the bodega a few stores down. For appetizers we had the crab Guacamole, scratch that, we had guacamole with an insignificant essence of crab (18 dollars/ per). My [unbelievably undersized] entree was the beef tenderloin, although being the best Medium-rare I have ever seen, it tasted like it was aged in the spew of frat-boys and raccoons. We skipped dessert and swiftly asked for the check, only to find that they had charged us for a bottle of sangria that we didn't order. The waiter must have misconstrued my girlfriend's objection to another bottle for "Yes, another 36 dollar bottle of Hawaiian punc|-| please". All in all, much like the Wall Street's economic situation, this restaurant is highly leveraged in decor, ambiance and a unisexual bathroom with a disproportionate underlying asset of good food and good service. But at least they hire waiters that are hearing impaired.
Restaurant Lighting and Ambiance: Great, unless you epileptic. If so, be wary of the flickering lights.
Another confirmation that the lower East is only good for Cheap drinks, drunk college girls and the only good restaurant being Schillers: Priceless.
simply amazing expereince – Simply amazing experience. Lovely setting, ambitous food, gracious service. Puts so many other restaurants to shame. If you are able to splurge, go. It will re-set your thinking of what a "fancy" restaurant should be.
Great vibe and very good food – I love this place as the food is very good and the vibe is energetic and the decor is cool. It's definitely great to dine at the bar as the bartenders are friendly. I have one complaint and I hope management reads this. The margarita is $16 and they only fill the glass half way.....that drives me crazy. My girlfriend and I had two drinks each and with tip it was $75. That's just too much for drinks and the reason was the already extraordinary price of $16 and having to order two because they are so small.
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