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Pampano
Credit: Pampano

Nestled in the heart of Midtown East you will find Pampano, Richard Sandoval’s amazing restaurant dedicated to the best of contemporary Mexican cuisine. Richard, who has multiple restaurants scattered across the United States, expertly excels in the execution of Pampano in many ways, especially the decor and cuisine.  I took my friend there a couple of nights ago to experience it all.

Pampano
Credit: Pampano

Pampano is conveniently located only a couple of blocks from the 6 train on 49th Street between 3rd and 2nd Avenue.  It became a wonderful escape from the torrential downpour of rain we were experiencing that night, as we headed upstairs to its gorgeous location and swept away from the misery of the weather.

With its two levels, Pampano allows you to experience elegance and sophistication that is wonderful for a date or an intimate grouping with friends.  They also have a balcony on the 2nd floor which will be perfect once the weather starts warming up in the upcoming months.  The lush white colors mixed well with the dim lighting that we were treated to the to other night, further enhancing the experience overall.

The food we were treated to was par for the course in terms of how well Mexican cuisine can be prepared, not to mention the wonderful service the staff provided throughout.  Here is what we recommend the next time you head to Pampano.

Credit: Pampano
Credit: Pampano

For starters, or “para empezar”, they provide a great duality with their Guacamole & Pez Espada Ahumado.  The latter comes with smoked swordfish, tomato, onion, cilantro & homemade pickled jalapeños and come with warm and fresh chips for dunking.  The pez clearly stands out for its spice with the jalapenos with a great zing upon each bite, and the Guacamole was delicious fresh and made for a great starter.

Credit: Pampano
Credit: Pampano

They also have a great sample of Ceviches to devour, including tuna, shrimp and halibut.  We tried the tuna option, called Aguachile de Atun, which came with poblano peppers, ginger, cherry tomato, onion, cilantro and plantain chips.  The sweetness of the plantain chips was a great offset for the spicyness that the poblano provided, and made for an overall tasty dish.

Credit: Pampano
Credit: Pampano

Also, if you are looking for an amazing “sopa”, or soup, their Corn Soup is hands down one of the best that I have had in ages.  It is so thick and creamy, with a little bit of spice in it and made for such a great addition to our experience.

Credit: Pampano
Credit: Pampano

Their “Platos Fuertes”, or entrees, were plentiful and bursting with flavor in each of the ingredients they provided us.  As I am a big scallops fan, I easily honed in on their Mariscada, which came with bay scallops and shrimp, calamari, cilantro rice, achiote-coconut sauce and pineapple.  This dish is quite spectacular as they are able to execute it without it being overly sweet because of the coconut sauce and pineapple.  Everything mixed in simply works without it overpowering the others.

Overall, Pampano executed everything perfectly for us, and I would highly recommend going there this weekend and beyond to really enjoy what Mexican cuisine can truly be.  For more information, check out their official site.