Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Corazon del Mar (Nantucket, MA)

We went to Corazon de la Mer, tonight, a new, upscale Mexican (or Mexican-influenced) restaurant in Nantucket Town. I'm happy to say we liked it quite well. Most of their business seems to be walk in. They only have an hour in the early evening and later in the evening when reservations are accepted; the rest of the time, it's walk-in only. We waited about 15 minutes for a table for two. Tables for four were seated immediately.

We had:

- a half dozen Wellfleet oysters
- arepitas
- Argentinian steak with chimichurri sauce, yucca fries and watercress salad
- crispy pork (mostly belly, some babyback ribs) with "Aztec flan" (basically a corn pudding) and fried sweet plantains
- "caramelized" caipirinha
- another drink involving roasted pineapple

Oysters were so-so, two very fresh and delicious, two oddly bitter-tasting, two middle of the road (I wonder if the ratios of good to bad were by design...). Arepitas, a little thicker than I usually like to make them, were served with Tex Mexy, but well made, pulled carnitas.

I really loved my crispy pork entree, served with a truly fantastic, smokey, spicy aji sauce. The meat, itself, was overcooked in parts, but nicely flavored through and through. The "Aztec" flan (a corn pudding with a touch of jalapeno) was lovely and tender, though fairly oversalted. Plantains were perfect. My SO's steak, on the other hand, was a bit chewy (probably a flank steak), but nicely rare, as he'd requested. Based on the bite I tried, the chimichurri sauce, watercress and yucca were all excellent.

The restaurant has a nice tequila and ok wine list, but in the interests of sobriety, we opted for cocktails, instead. My caipirinha was strong, but a bit unpleasantly bitter. It was made with "caramelized" (grilled?) key limes, whose bitterness tainted the entire drink. My SO's cocktail, whose name I don't remember, unfortunately, included grilled pineapple, a type of tequila and kalamansi limes. It was delicious, a nice balance of sweet and sour.

Overall, I find Corazon to be a very welcome addition to the Nantucket dining scene. It helps break up the monotony of pizza and seafood. 

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