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Cantina Rooftop
Credit: Cantina Rooftop

Cantina Rooftop is one of the few exceptions that will bring me to drag my tired behind all the way over to 11th Avenue and 48th Street from East Harlem.  Why? It’s simple- they have one of the best brunches in Manhattan, while at the same time providing a view that outdoes a ton of other “brunch” type restaurants.  With the temperature in the mid-70’s this past weekend, I took my friend there for a fabulous experience that they set up that will surely keep us coming back for more.

Cantina Rooftop is connected to the world famous Stage 48, the latter of which has hosted several events that we have either covered or hosted over the years at Manhattan Digest.  You simply take yourself to the third floor of the location, where upon the elevator doors opening you will find yourself surrounded by an absolutely gorgeous setting that you have to see in person to believe.

Cantina Rooftop
Credit: Cantina Rooftop

I’m a big fan when it comes to color, and as you can see, they use it in a very effective way.  I love the soft blue colors on their incredibly comfortable couches and even the reds as you can see have such a richness to them that it makes the space even more inviting.  Even better?  It has an amazing overview of the city itself, which can easily translate to those epic “3 hour lunches” we all love to do once in a while.

Now onto the best part, the food!  Executive Chef Gonzalo Colin has created a brand-new brunch menu with select guacamoles, tacos and ceviche to excite brunch squads this summer.  On top of color, I am never one to shy away from spices, and Chef Gonzalo expertly uses them to perfection in each dish that we tried.

Credit: Ryan Shea

I am someone who doesn’t really love guacamole, unless it has some fruit in it to waken up your taste buds.  Shocker, right? We tried their Ranchero version which came with Grilled Mango and Chile de Arbol Paste.  Visually, it looks great as the mango itself provides a great color on top of the guacamole, and when you dip it with one of their fresh tortilla chips, you get the sweetness from said mango with the spiciness of the guac itself.  It provided a great balance and made for a great starter dish.

Credit: Ryan Shea

I have had so many types of ceviches in and out of Manhattan, but have never had one prepared like this before!  This ceviche is called Vuelve a la Vida, which comes packed with so much amazing seafood including Shrimp, Sole and Octopus while joining forces with Avocado, Mango Pico & Citrus Agua Chile.  The crackers are good to have for a nice crunch, but aren’t necessary as the flavors in this are insane!  Get your spoon ready and dig in as this is a dish you must try due to the amazing components put together so well.

Credit: Ryan Shea

For their entree, I went for a classic with a twist- steak and eggs. In other words, Huevos con Bistec.  Grilled Sirloin Cecina, Over Easy Eggs with Papas Con Rajas.  Simple, cooked perfectly as i like my steak medium, and was an easy plate to fork all three into one which made for a hearty entree that I would definitely go back for.

Strawberry Margarita never tasted so good! Credit: Ryan Shea

Overall, Cantina Rooftop impressed myself and my guest with everything from its ambiance to food to decor, and more.  For more information, check out their official site.

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