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Terrace Outdoor Seating. Credit: Merchants Hospitality

As someone who has worked not once, but twice, in the Financial District, one thing that has always been made very clear to me is that it tends to be somewhat of a ghost town after the 5PM bell rings.  The area primarily is very business friendly, with a lot of lunch mainstays for the busy, on the go professional yet doesn’t really have a great dinner scene outside of the one or two biergartens that you come across while walking to the numerous subway lines that run the muck down there.  Last night, I discovered that a great lunch and dinner place does exist, and it’s a mere 5 minute walk from the 1 train at Rector Street.  This spot is SouthWest NY, and it is our pick for restaurant of the week!

Bar. Credit: Merchants Hospitality
Bar. Credit: Merchants Hospitality

SouthWest NY boasts a delicious fare of Tex-Mex cuisine inside a trendy and hip location in a sleek & visually appealing space that has indoor and outdoor seating available to the masses.  It is also multi-functional in terms of heading there for a simple drink after work, watching the Olympics with a bunch of friends or celebrating your birthday with a big group of people in a more reserved area of the restaurant.  Executive Chef Antelmo Ambrosio does an amazing job at blending a ton of great tex-mex flavors together and incorporates them in every dish he presents, regardless of what part of the menu it falls on.  Whether you are looking for warm and flavorful soup, a tasty steak to bite into or a delicious queso to dunk your fajita into, he and their staff has you completely covered.

Credit: Ryan Shea
Credit: Ryan Shea

Here is what we recommend you try the next time you are in Battery Park and have a kick for tex-mex loveliness.  In their small plate category, and for all the soup lovers out there, I would highly recommend trying their Chicken Tortilla Soup with Guacamole & Pico De Gallo.  The soup is powerful in flavor yet isn’t overpowering in spice and execution.  The mixture of all the ingredients, especially the guacamole, really blend well with each other and make for a great starter dish.  If you are a seafood lover like me, and are looking for another great meal to start your experience with, their Octopus with herb marinated mixed grape tomatoes, fava beans, pickled carrots, grilled corn, baby kale & tangerine vinaigrette.  The Octopus is cooked perfectly and really blends well with the array of sides that come along with it, especially the grilled corn and fava beans.  Yummy!

Credit: Ryan Shea
Credit: Ryan Shea

Another great way to start your meal is with their Queso with Chorizo and warm fajitas to build off of.  This was our favorite appetizer type meal, as the queso mixed with Chorizo, which I still think is such an underrated type of meat, really melded so well together.  That is going to be a star dish in the fall when the weather gets a little cooler and patrons are looking for something warm to really fill them up.  Also, their Hand Battered Chicken Fingers with barbeque and honey mustard sauce are an adult take on a childhood classic, and can really be served as a main if you want.

Credit: Ryan Shea
Credit: Ryan Shea

Moving onto their mains, SouthWest NY excels in its preparation of its meat and seafood items, that it really elevates the flavor, taste and execution to a whole other level.  The standout dish for me was their 10 oz Mojo Marinated Skirt Steak, served with chipotle whipped potatoes, chimichurri sauce & tumbleweed onions.  Skirt Steak is my favorite kind of steak that is out there, and this was perfectly cooked with the chimichurri sauce providing just the right touch of added flavor without being too spicy.  The chipotle whipped potatoes were off the chain as well, as I’ve never had something like that before in my life.  A great pairing for the hearty steak.

Credit: Ryan Shea
Credit: Ryan Shea

Two other great options, one surf and one turf, is their Roasted Herb Marinated Chicken Breast & Cedar-Planked Atlantic Salmon.  The Chicken Breast came with cilantro lime butter sauce, coconut brown rice and sautéed green beans.  The breast was moist, which the butter sauce only enhanced and made it even more yummy. The sides were bomb to the max, especially the sautéed green beans, which went quickly.  The Salmon came with warm chayote-olive salad, spanish yellow rice & lemon butter sauce.  The Salmon visually was stunning, had a delicious skin texture to it, and had my favorite kind of rice to play along with it.  Amazing main courses indeed.

Credit: Ryan Shea
Credit: Ryan Shea

Regardless of how full you get, you can always find room for dessert.  And they really do save the best for last.  Their Sugar-Cinnamon Dusted Churros, Coconut Flan with Fresh Berries and Warm Molten Chocolate Cake with a Raspberry Coulis & Vanilla Ice Cream are three contrasting desserts that really showcase how great desserts can be prepared.  Whether it is the sweet and tasty Churros, the spongy flan, or the chocolate cake that erupts in flavor, you will find at least one of them are the perfect ending to the perfect meal.  Definitely a place I would recommend going to this weekend and beyond.  For more information on SouthWest NY, check out their official site.