As time has gone by with my food reviews on Manhattan Digest, something that seems to be a constant is that you don’t have to overdo something in order to make it work and of course, delicious. Size doesn’t always matter, insert the obvious joke if you will. This can be said about the beautiful location and tasty dishes at this wonderful wine bar and Latin kitchen called Oovina, which is located in the heart of Hell’s Kitchen on 9th Avenue between 37th and 38th Street.
Oovina’s concept is simple in its execution yet it is masterfully done on its completion in many different ways. The location is not that big, yet doesn’t need to be as it is filled with beautiful decor throughout, in particular on the walls and the backdrop towards the end of the restaurant that really gives this place a chill vibe, one that i happen to love given how busy New York City can get. Not to mention the service throughout the evening was absolutely fantastic.
For a place that has only been open for about a year now, Oovina seems to have their stuff together in going up against the big dogs of the area with how great everything they prepare really is. Head Chef & Owner Giovanni Morales prepares everything pretty much Tapas style, in other words small Spanish savory dishes that go hand in hand with the incredible wines they have.
Let’s run down the list of what I think you should order the next time you find yourself at Oovina. The menu is very taco driven, with several choices that are absolutely delectable. One that I would really recommend is their Grilled Jumbo Shrimp with red cabbage, tomato pico de gallo, and avocado aioli. I am never one to turn down shrimp period, so this was a great example of how to mix all of those awesome flavors together to make a sick taco. They also have great Vegan, Pork, Chicken and Skirt Steak options available if Shrimp doesn’t tickle your fancy.
Outside of the taco atmosphere, they also have some wonderful rice and pasta options that really filled us up in all the right ways. I love Gnocchi, so their Cassava Gnocchi is a great example of how to prepare a dish like that and make it taste great. The Gnocchi was made with bacon, cassava, parmesan gravy and garlic. Simply divine. Another amazing option that you should try if you like spice is their Arroz con Chorizo, pictured above. Essentially, rice with Chorizo Sausage that is packed with so many different flavors from the jalapenos to the peppers inside. Definitely one you should try out. For the fish lover in you, their Pan Seared Scallops with bacon, artichokes olives and herbed butter was one of my standouts for the evening, as the combination of flavors kicked ass.
To finish up, their Flan-Brulee is a great way to end your meal. A good mix of Creme Brulee and Flan, it’s rich texture and melt in your mouth raspberry/strawberry preserve is just superb. Overall, a great meal and one that I would recommend to anyone who wants a little spice in their life.
For more information, check out their official site.