“I am very excited because we have been doing quite well.” And one cannot help but fully understand the pride beaming from the face of West Village restaurateur and former Wilhemina male model Milan Kelez. As he surveys the scene of his throbbing 173 Seventh Avenue South hot spot Baby Brasa one recent Saturday night in the early Manhattan Spring of 2018. His equally gorgeous business partner Franco Noriega is nowhere to be seen on this particular night but he too must also be thrilled to be part of one of Greenwich Village’s much buzzed about new restaurants.
Every table is taken in the bi-level restaurant along a triangular square just below Fourteen Street in Greenwich Village is taken with the local bon chic/bon genre Downtown foodie. The live brass band trio is a full throttle and totally setting the mood for the high – energy mood and the tray after tray of delicious Peruvian inspired dishes pouring from the busy kitchen of the equally hunky chef Alonso Toledo.
The food is both hearty and healthy with the signature culinary touch being the ”brasa” or the charcoal oven which underlies the basic foundation of much of the way Peruvian food is prepared.
The fine dining night out at Baby Brasa must definitely begin with the house Cerviche fresh and piquant and stuffed with huge chunks of the freshest flounder ladled with various citrus juices, onions and caramelized sweet potato, inca corn and rocato. For those truly health-conscious guests, probably just replenishing after a hard work out at the chic Equinox gym just up the street then the Vegan Ceviche with mushrooms and quinoa is a delectable starter itself. That too, and the Spicy Rocoto Hummus, make for the perfect opening segue to this evening of casual fine-dining. The spot-on Shrimp Anticucho comprising seared grilled shrimp skewers with pineapple and sweet plantain bathed in lime and cilantro is another house favorite and must clearly be lending to the enthusiastic and joyous decibel level that rings out amongst the din of happy diners. Another delicious and healthy first course is no doubt the tasty Quinoa Salad with the perfectly seared salmon add on to a bed of the freshest arugula.
“I am happy seeing all these fine local ladies from the West Village coming in and so many families too, especially earlier in the evening,” Milan Kelez enthused. It is now 9:30pm on this particular night and the Baby Brasa is a beehive of activity with diners indulging in hearty conversations over their meals and a busy wait staff pushed to brink with keeping pace with the frenetic scene unfolding.
The first rate main courses at Baby Brasa would no doubt include the Lomo Saltado which is a traditional Peruvian stir-fry dish with marinated strips of perfectly smoked sirloin steak and onions and tomatoes and served with house special Yucca fries or rice. The Organic Grilled Chicken is an unquestionable stand -out and served with jasmine rice and a green spice salsa. It is charred-rotisserie fowl of the highest order and simply a must-order! As to is the incredible Seafood Risotto which is the best risotto this arbiter has ever, ever had! And that is no mere understatement. This dish alone is well worth the visit to Baby Brasa!! If you are looking out for the perfect Downtown dining experience this season then waste no further time.
Grilled Wild Caught Salmon; Yuca Fries in Background
Grilled Fillet over a Passion Fruit Ceviche Blend
Grilled Shrimp Skewers
Shrimp Anticucho, Pineapple & Sweet Plantain served with Lime & Cilantro
Flounder, Citrus Juices, Onions, caremelized Sweet Potato, Inca Corn Rocoto
Sautéed Portabello Mushrooms, Crisp Vegetables, Fries Plantains, , Avocado, a7 Quinoa in a Savory Sesame Soy Sauce
Arroz con Pollo & Papita Huancaina
Green Cilantro Rice, Dark Organic Chicken, Salsa Criolla
173 Seventh Avenue South