Macondo Tapas Restaurant Bar Lower East Side New York
157 E. Houston St. (between Allen and Eldridge)
New York, NY 212.473.9900
Hours Everyday 5PM – 12AM Fri-Sat Open til 3AM
Macondo where swanky Miami meets semi-grungy lower east side AKA Lower-East-Packing. If you don’t mind the annoying Lower East Meat Packing crowd or if you get there early for their happy hour (till about 6:30 7pm?), Macondo is awesome. Sorry, I guess lately I’ve been kind of a hater of the lower east side. It’s just too over run with B&T and not too recently the meat packing crowd. Call it evolution, progress or gentrification. It happens.
Back to the food. The best way to describe the menu at Macondo is a unique mixture of fancy South American and Caribbean street foods. For happy hour, you can choose from a variety of small tapas dishes ranging from $3-$12 with some dishes that include a free Porron (sparkling red wine in a glass pitcher with a long spout from which you pour straight into your mouth – or someone else’s).
We started with a plate of the crispy spicy honey calamari which was a definite hit. The subtle spice, the crispy fried calamari with a sweet honey finish makes for a great appetizer. Then we split a cubano sandwich with a side of yucca fries. I’ve had better cuban sandwiches but this dish is definitely one that will do the job of filling you up since most of these dishes are on the small side.
Then our favorite dish was the Siete Potencias which is oysters, shrimp, clam, octopus, mussel, scallop, calamari in a tequila carrot aji-amarillo citrus sauce. Just think about these ingredients for a minute and you’ll realize how awesome it can really be.
We also managed to stuff down an arepa which turned out to be so so (I like the ones over at Caracas a bit more) and a sandwich with polenta and quail which had great presentation but as for taste, I can’t say I was a huge fan.
Also be sure to try out a few of Macondo’s special cocktails. The mojitos were very nice and I hear they have a special cocktail made from avocado, spiked with mescal, Cointreau and a coca leaf liqueur. Getting to Macondo early is my best advice and try to get one of the 2-3 stools by the sidewalk in the Summer / Spring time where you can enjoy your drinks al fresco. Enjoy!