Dine Out : Calle Dao

Calle Dao Chelsea, Calle Dao Review, Calle Dao Restaurant, Calle Dao New York, Calle Dão

To say New York City is the home to a vibrant dining scene would be an understatement. With so many eateries coming and going,  it can be hard to keep up. Had I not been invited to a special tasting at Calle Dão recently, I don't know how long it would've have taken me to stumble upon this Chelsea eatery that pays homage to Havana’s El Barrio Chino (Chinatown).  Once known as the largest such community in Latin America, El Barrio Chino occupied 44 square blocks of real estate in the late 1870s. A unique fusion of cuisine emerged as Cuban and Chinese cultures melded. Today, El Barrio Chino sits upon a small section of the narrow Calle Cuchillo known as Knife Street from which Calle Dão takes its name. Calle means street in Spanish and dao means knife in Chinese.

The restaurant located in the heart of Chelsea on West 23rd Street transports guests back to a bygone era as soon as you enter with an eclectic decor that parallels the fusion of Asian and Central American flavors on the menu designed by chef Bradley Warner and owner Marco Britti. The cuisine features a roster of dishes that deftly blend Cuban staples with Asian flavors and vice versa. They also offer a selection of cocktails created by mixologist Joy Daniel which also combine the old world with the new using modern ingredients and historic names.

We got to try out their Seven Day A Week Brunch Menu which features a variety of brunch favorites with a unique cultural twist. A big highlight were the Cuban Sandwich Spring Rolls which perfectly encapsulated the flavors of the sandwich. I also loved their flavorful take on the Cubano that includes salami which I found out is the authentic way to make it. The Lamb Picadillo and Corn Congee with Poached Eggs and Sofrito was another standout with it's complex mix of textures and flavors.You just have to make sure to mix everything together to get it all in one bite. Trust me it's worth the work. The Beef & Broccoli with smoked short rib and Chinese broccoli over lā miàn noodles dressed in garlic hoisin missed the mark for me in terms of flavor and the overcooked noodles but apparently that is a trademark of how noodles are cooked there. Personally I just prefer my noodles to be more toothsome and springy. The Chorizo and Garbanzo Hash and Huevos Al Horno were okay but I wouldn't order them if I had a choice. Now those of you who know me know that I don't usually don't eat sugar and don't have a sweet tooth but I do have to take a moment to gush over their Matcha Tres Leches Cake with Chocolate Crumb, Chocolate Sesame Tuile and a Mango Coulis. I had two bites and I actually wanted more which almost never happens. Chef Warner explained that it is actually a cuatro leches cake in the way it's made. I just know that it was delicious and if you dine here you must order it! This was a hosted event and our servers did take very good care of us.

Authentic fusion cuisine can be tricky to execute successfully but what sets Calle Dao apart is that their food draws upon an actual history and integration of cultures rather than fusion for the sake of fusion. And they do a terrific job of creating a distinct atmosphere that makes you feel as if you are dining in old world Havana. I would definitely revisit to try more of the menu and I must have that Cubano again. Calle Dão Chelsea is actually the second location of this restaurant. The original is at Bryant Park at 38 West 39th Street.

Calle Dao Chelsea
461 West 23rd Street
New York City
$$ - $$$

Calle Dao Chelsea, Calle Dao Review, Calle Dao Restaurant, Calle Dao New York, Calle Dão
Calle Dao Chelsea, Calle Dao Review, Calle Dao Restaurant, Calle Dao New York, Calle Dão
Calle Dao Chelsea, Calle Dao Review, Calle Dao Restaurant, Calle Dao New York, Calle Dão

Calle Dao Chelsea Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


Jackie Harrison said...

You so right so many eatery in NYC and real good one hard to keep up thanks to you keeping us updated where to go to dine. This place looks amazing and the food delicious.

Emmylou said...

Oh my gosh! Cuban Sandwich Spring Rolls and tres leches cake....I'd like me some of that:D And TBH, I like my noodles overcooked so I'll probably really like that dish:) Thanks for all the food porn, chingu...wait...on the other hand.....:P

PS How is it there after the attack? Hope you're all doing fine. XOXO

Gabrielle said...

Every single time I visit your blog I leave feeling hungry haha! The decor of this place looks so intriguing - I love the use of tropical plants indoors. Oh and of couuuurse my eyes are once more drawn to the dessert! haha :)

Gabrielle | A Glass Of Ice x

Bambi said...

Such a nice place and the food looks yummy. The fusion is visible not only in food but also in the interior.

Unknown said...

OMG All of them look delicious sweetie
Maggie Dallospedale

Beauty said...

I like their food presentation; the dishes look yummy.

Beauty Unearthly said...

Lovely post dear! thanks for the information.

Mica said...

Oh yum! I wasn't sure from your description of the fusion but reading about the dishes and seeing the lovely pictures I'm a convert, would love to give this a try! :)

Hope you are having a nice week :)

Away From The Blue Blog

Doctor Anne said...

Your Pictures look very appetizing, too bad the signature noodles weren´t to your liking. I actually prefer my noodles to be soft and sloppy, so this would probably be the place to go for me.

Anne|Linda, Libra, Loca

Shireen L. Platt said...

Everything looks so good, Rowena! I usually stay away from fusion restaurants because the ones that I have visited are just serving 'fusion for the sake of fusion' kind of food but Cale Dao does seems to be different. I think it's an Asian thing that we like our noodles to be more springy, I am the same but my husband loves it soft. LOL!

Shireen⎜Reflection of Sanity

little luxury list said...

Ooh i want to eat there! I love cubans in every form so I'd have that. The matcha quarto leche cake sounds like a fab way to end the meal!

merel said...

What a cool spot! <3

X Merel

Valerie said...

The dishes look amazing, and this place looks like such a beautiful place to dine! I would love to try the Cuban Sandwich Spring Rolls...sounds delicious!


A Very Sweet Blog said...

Rowena, the food looks absolutely delicious! I envy the choices you guys have in NY! You lucky girl >.<