The crazy streets of Times Square are transformed into a world of Miami-esque hues and tantalizing Latin fragrances the moment you walk through the doors of Agua Dulce, a Pan-Latin restaurant in midtown Manhattan. The service at the hostess desk is slower than a New York minute, but once you get to a table in Chef Ulrich A. Sterling's dining room, it is back up to par.
Our server Justin was friendly, informative, and attentive, all while being quick to give informative recommendations about the dishes that awaited us at Agua Dulce. The menu boasted plenty of choices from the Caribbean and Central America. We chose the Laughing Bird Shrimp Ceviche to start, their most popular appetizer - and with good reason. This Japanese-style starter was served on mini taco shells and was presented like three little books placed side by side, with limes as bookends. It was delicious and the perfect amount for a palette wetter. Along with these, we ordered a frozen mojito (the most refreshing alternative to a margarita one will ever sip on), and a skinny mojito, a beautiful, yet healthier concoction.
The main course at Agua Dulce was more than any patron can dream of. The sizzling churrasco exceeds expectations by far, while the side left room to desire. The juicy steak, served medium rare upon request, was tender and cooked to perfection, with potatoes and a delectable chimichurri as a garnish. The Tamarind Sea Bass was a buttery seafood fusion dish with the perfect side – Asian bok choy.
Although the entrees were satisfying, you cannot leave Agua Dulce without trying the guava creme brulee for dessert. Not one bite left this writer with as much as a teaspoon of regret. The perfectly crispy top was garnished with fresh, juicy strawberries and blueberries. Pairing it with a steaming espresso is the perfect choice, as any of Agua Dulce’s hearty and generous dishes will leave you feeling sleepy!
After this three course delight at Agua Dulce, one will have to call it a night or risk overindulging. Of course, there’s always room for more at this intimate space, even on evenings when it may seem too crowded. Agua Dulce’s service is professional, to say the least. We bet you couldn’t find one water glass half full or half empty, let alone an ignored empty plate. Agua Dulce’s atmosphere is the icing on the cake. From the candles on the tables, which complemented the mint green tones of the walls, to the iron zodiac themed table dividers, the swanky, yet inviting Agua Dulce is always worth a second trip…or more.