Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Brasitas - Norwalk CT

Mariscada Caribena
I recently had the good fortune of taking a business trip in good company. The trip went well, and for me, one of the highlights was getting together to go over the plan for the next day, and generally talk about what's going on back at the office. One of my co-workers suggested a small Latin Fusion restaurant called Brasitas- and it turned out to be a great idea.

I had the Mariscada Caribena - a seafood stew made with a broth of coconut milk infused with saffron and chipotle peppers. A combination of mussels, clams, squid, fish fillets, and a healthy portion of jasmine rice round out the dish. The broth complements the seafood nicely with enough spice notes to be assertive, without ever overpowering the shellfish. It is a well balanced dish that I would gladly eat again.

The meal was accompanied by a bowl of fried plantain chips with a pico de gallo. The plantain chips were interesting one their own but worked even better with a little of the mild, but still distinctive pico de gallo- again, it is the restraint that made it work- the pico de gallo was on the mild side- enough spice from the mild chilis to be felt while staying in balance with the nuttiness of the chips. A minty sweet mojito cocktail made with fistfuls of mulled mint and lime also worked as a foil to the plantain. The mojito was garnished with a large chunk of actual fresh sugar cane- which I thought was a very nice touch.

Dessert was impressive as well - a vanilla panna cotta with an intense citrus topping. The citrus creme by itself is very intense, and the vanilla panna cotta beneath it is rich but mild in flavor when taken alone- but both together again play a great balancing act between sweet/acid and creamy/rich that just works. Every part of the meal seemed to feature components that were good on their own, but needed to be paired with something else to feel complete- and each course supplied that other complementary element in just the right proportions to get it right. I would gladly return for another round.

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