Happy Tuesday. How’s your week going? I was going through some photos the other day and realized it’s been ages since I did a restaurant post.

Back in…January (?) my mom was in the city for a meeting and made dinner plans for us at Calle Ocho, a restaurant on the Upper West Side known for its all-you-can-drink brunch specials almost as much as its “distinguished, exciting Latin flare.” Because I am 4’11” and sangria-averse, it was on my radar, but hadnt quite made it to my “must try” list. I’m so glad she suggested it, though—we had a great meal there.

The space itself is gorgeous, and the menu was beautiful and creative without boasting “LOOK HOW CREATIVE I AM.”

Instead of, say, chips and salsa, they serve delicious little muffins that were tree-nut allergy-friendly and gluten-free, along with a black bean spread—what a fun change of pace.

We shared a beet and goat cheese-type salad to start…IMG 5058 300x227 - Calle Ocho

…along with the most delightful ceviche, which came on ice…in a coconut. Weird but tasty.

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I ordered a grilled sea bass for my entree, which came with spinach and potatoes. It sounds very basic, but the flavors were spot-on, with just the right amount of heat and salt. It was the pickled onions on top that really sold me on it. Sometimes you really are just hungry enough to eat a whole fish…

IMG 5060 300x216 - Calle Ocho

To drink? Cava for me—hard to go wrong there.

Though I often forget how much I love Mexican and Cuban food, it would be worth remembering to come back to this place.

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