Onda

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Financial District

The South Street Seaport is considered a dining destination...for tourists. But the area just north of Fulton Street boasts a handful of inviting eateries (Salud, Fresh Salt) that cater to locals. Among them is Onda, the Pan-Latin restaurant and bar from chef Raymond Mohan (Patria), designed with festive colors—red cabinets, aqua columns—that evoke the tropics. The kitchen turns out a wide range of dishes that, while mostly good, suffer from inconsistency. A tasty appetizer of Galician-style octopus featured crisped tentacle dressed with olive oil and pimenton. It appeared minuscule, however, next to a similarly priced taco sampler, a plate of soft corn tortillas stuffed with juicy shrimp and chorizo, tender fried mahi-mahi and (slightly bland) pulled pork. A fine crab-cake burger boasted plenty of fresh lump meat, but a side of cheese-topped fries reminded us of fast food. A rich marinated skirt steak was brought down by a salad of wan—and unseasonal—asparagus and cherry tomatoes. The discrepancies continued through dessert. One dish, described on the menu as “basil ice cream,” turned out to be a luscious bowl of sweet cream topped with shredded basil and pumpkin-seed praline—a winner, but a deceptive one given that the cream was neither frozen nor flavored with basil. Churros delivered on their promise: moist in the center with a salty caramel dipping sauce. Incongruences aside, Onda still beats out the Seaport’s more generic alternatives.—TONY

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Venue name: Onda
Contact:
Address: 229 Front St
New York

Cross street: between Beekman St and Peck Slip
Opening hours: Mon–Wed, Sun noon–11pm; Thu noon–midnight; Fri, Sat noon–12:30am
Transport: Subway: A, C to Broadway–Nassau St; J, M, Z, 2, 3, 4, 5 to Fulton St
Price: Average main course: $20. AmEx, MC, V
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