Nuela: Pan Latin Cuisine in Flatiron

Nuela: Pan Latin Cuisine in Flatiron

by Darren Atkins

Nuela. The name itself means ambitious, hard working, and rival. That's exactly what the guys behind this Manhattan haunt have. Chef Adam Schop, a tattooed Goliath of a guy, may be intimidating to the eye, but he has the heart and soul of a good friend. His cooking reflects his personality: mysterious and likable. Nuela had a long road to get here as construction was long, but the guys came through with an orange and red splashed joint evoking a nightclub with food from the Pan Latin variety that will dazzle you. Squeezed into a restaurant row of sorts, Nuela now offers up a dining experience with few faults.

To get more bang for your buck at Nuela it’s highly recommended that you order one of Schop’s specialties. His pollo a la brasa consommé is a slab of pork belly, pillowy wontons, and tangy pickled mushrooms swimming in a pool of smoky meets spicy chicken broth. The menu is large, vast, and sometimes complicated, but the staff will guide you. Not only do they have the knowledge, but Schop’s crew also has the drive to lead posh guests to 200+ plus seats, all with smiles on their faces.

If New York City suddenly experiences a heat wave in the middle of fall, you can still savor some of Nuela’s culinary highlights, minus steamy broth. Try the empanada with short ribs, eggs, olives, and tomatoes. Also consider the charred octopus and squid, which features creamy potato puree, olives, and avocado-a fiesta for the mouth. The tuna charred pineapple with miso and summer radishes will delight your palate with a fresh sweetness. Don’t forget the “lomo saltado" ribeye that will bring out the Fred Flintsone in you... great stuff! For ocean lovers, go for the halibut ‘cau cau’ with rock shrimp, manila clams, peas, carrots, and refreshing mint-subtle yet delicious.

There's much more to sample at Nuela, but you'll have to see (and taste) for yourself. Regardless of what you eat, you’ll agree that Schop knows his way around the kitchen and your heart.

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