Rayuela brings a higher level of artistry to the pan-Latin kitchens of New York. Deftly blending the fruits and flavors of South America, Spain and beyond, executive chef Máximo Tejada rejects convention in his pursuit of estilo libro latino (freestyle Latino) cuisine. Nine different ceviches mix daringly seductive ingredients, as in the langosta revolución, a medley of lobster, shrimp, grilled pineapple, jalapeño, lemongrass and ginger, topped with Uruguayan caviar. Equally inventive are the delicately spiced platos fuertes, with standouts like the seafood-filled paella, lightly infused with coconut milk, and the tender oven-roasted rack of lamb with stuffed piquillo pepper and goat cheese–malanga puree. The nicely lit dining room complements the culinary magic, with a sinuous 20-foot olive tree cleverly uniting the bi-level space.
165 Allen St
|Cross street:||between Rivington and Stanton Sts|
|Opening hours:||Mon–Thu 5.30–11pm; Fri 5.30pm–midnight; Sat 11am–3.30pm, 5.30pm–midnight; Sun 11am–3.30pm|
|Transport:||Subway: F, V to Lower East Side–Second Ave|
|Price:||Average main course: $27. AmEx, Disc, MC, V|