K*Rico

K*Rico overall score: 92

This is a relatively recent addition to the smaller scale steakhouse scene. The cuisine here is Latin American/South American style, but with a focus on steak, being a steakhouse and all.

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This time we had three people dining, so we were able to sample a bit more than usual. Here’s the breakdown:

Flavor: 9
We had this massive 40oz tomahawk rib eye that was dry aged for 70 days. This is on special right now for $95, so if you like what you see, go get it while supplies last!

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They bring it out to the table while it’s still sizzling hot. Then they take it back and let it rest before slicing and plating.

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The meat was incredibly tender and flavorful. I held back from full points only because I think it needed a little bit more seasoning.

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Both the cap and the eye were delicious and cooked perfectly to medium rare. Here’s a shot of the remaining hunk of bone:

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We also did a mixed grill item (parrillada mixta) for $59, which came with skirt steak, languica (sausage), sirloin, pork belly, pork tenderloin, chicken and blood sausage. For non-discriminating meat lovers, this is totally the way to go.

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That green sauce is a cilantro based spread that specifically goes well with the pork and chicken.

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Choice of Cuts & Quality Available: 10
This place regularly offers skirt, two strips (48oz bone in, and a 16oz), rib eye (22oz), two filets (8oz and 14oz), porterhouse for two, and a mixed grill for two. In addition, they also offer daily specials from the meat department. That’s a full blown 10. Plus all steaks are prime and grilled on an authentic plancha.

Portion Size & Plating: 10
Portions are large for the price. As you can see above, presentation is very nice as well. They’ve elevated the traditional steakhouse minimalist plating concept to something that pops.

Price: 10
Prices are really fair here, though slightly different in the restaurant than they are online (not by much). Most porterhouses for two are coming in at around $100 now, but here it is listed at $79. Also the massive 48oz sirloin steak for two is under $50, and the 22oz rib eye is listed at just $42. These are great deals if you’re on a budget but still want some good quality meat.

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Bar: 9
This bar is massive. It stretches almost the full length of the restaurant from front to back. While you do not have window seating, there is ample room and a beautiful decor to take in. Just take a look at that skull and horns center piece!

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There’s a great selection of Argentinian wines and some really nice cocktails as well.

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Specials and Other Meats: 9
There’s a 20oz double cut pork chop, Peruvian roasted chicken, and a mixed grill for two that comes with a host of tasty shit. As mentioned above, we ordered the special tomahawk chop that was offered. Amazing meat-centric place! Just missing lamb and veal.

Apps, Sides & Desserts: 8
We started with some empanadas, which were filled with prime beef, raisins, cilantro and aji amarillo aioli. These were perfectly crisp on the outside and juicy on the inside. Not too hot where you burn your mouth, and the flavors were really well balanced when eating with some of the pickled red onion.

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On the side we had the cauliflower mashed potatoes, which were creamy and flavorful. You’d never know you were eating a healthier version of the standard mashed potato dish.

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We also tried the sauteed yucca. These were a little dry and under-seasoned, but the crunchy texture was great.

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The brussels with bacon were perfect. Great char, good flavor. This is the ideal side for a meat eating extravaganza, because it comes with additional meat in the form of thick bacon. We actually didn’t order this: it was complimentary – nice surprise!

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Since we were busting-at-the-seams full, we all shared a dessert. Espresso flan. This had a nice even and smooth texture, with a very nice, not-too-sweet coffee flavor.

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Seafood Selection: 8
There’s cod, corvina and seabass in entree form, in addition to the apps of ceviche, grilled octo, calamari, mussels, shrimp and oysters. Really great showing! When I come back for the giant bone-in sirloin, I will be definitely giving the ceviche and octopus a try. Until then, I have to score this with a placeholder of eight. I’m sure it will be a higher score once I sink my teeth in to actually try the seafood.

Service: 10
Owner Tommy and waitress Maria were both fantastic. In fact all of the staff was warm and helpful. Maria offered great menu suggestions, and really knew her shit. It was interesting to learn from Tommy that his brother is the chef, and that they also own 1 2 3 Burger Shot Beer, just nearby, as well as a spot downtown. Our “doggie bag” was from there:

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I may as well mention it here: the table bread here is actually fried, flavored pasta! Really crunchy and good.

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Ambiance: 9
They’ve really made the best out of this typically narrow, storefront/brownstone location on 9th Avenue. They’ve done such a great job that this place easily contends with some of the gigantic, fancy steakhouses in midtown. The decor here is really classy and elegant. It’s Latin American/South American, but it’s not hitting you over the head with that fact. It’s subtle. The smaller size of this joint allows you to enjoy a more intimate or low key experience. However it’s great for dates as well as large groups, because once you get beyond the bar, the restaurant opens up to a wider dining space. Since the kitchen is a massive expanse down at the basement level, K*Rico takes full advantage of every square foot of space on the main dining floor. Very smart use of space.

K*RICO
772 9th Ave.
New York, NY 10019

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