Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Casa Enrique Surprises and Delights

A few weeks ago, I wrote about the new cocktail offering at LIC Latin eatery, Casa Enrique.  And recently, my We Heart Astoria friends, Meg & Mackenzi as well as Bradley from Amuse Bouche had the chance to try it out.  I'll admit that I enjoyed the food a lot more than the drinks, which were pretty standard, but overall I liked my experience very much and would love to come back.

Classy, sleek and almost all white, Casa Enrique is full of modern touches that go so well with the nouveau neighborhood in which it's located.  I like that it's super close to the subway, yet far enough from Vernon Blvd, where it feels private and nice and quiet.

The inside is laid out in an interesting fashion, with a large communal table up front (where we sat), and more traditional two and four top tables towards the back of the restaurant.  I noticed the beautiful flower arrangements, which were supplied by LIC flower extraordinaire, Floresta--providing a much needed pop of color in the simple monochrome environment.

Even though the menu isn't huge, there are plenty of things to choose from, especially if you enjoy Latin classics such as enchiladas, mole, carne asada and the like.  However, besides the simple dishes, there are some funky looking things on the menu as well such as cow tongue.

Guacamole - We started with a classic bowl of guac, which was simple and tasty.  I loved the slightly chunky consistency and the side of totopos (aka fresh, crunchy tortilla chips).  There was also a side of these wormy looking crackers that looked like cheese doodles but tasted anything but.  Instead, they were light and airy and didn't leave you with nasty, orange fingers.

Enchiladas Moles
- I adore mole and when I saw how meticulously it's prepared here (boasting many vibrant ingredients), I had to try it.  First off, the sauce was a gorgeous chocolatey-brown color and the taste was just out of this world.  Rich, earthy and a little spicy, the mole was a delicious sauce that coated the enchiladas from the outside and was just a wonderful thing to dip into once you broke the middle and got access to the tender chicken meat.  The mole is made with a mix of dry peppers, almonds, raisins, plantain, sesame seeds and chocolate - ooh la la!

Dessert - Although I didn't go for the dessert myself, my friends really enjoyed the molten chocolate cake and the chocolate budino (or pudding), which came with fresh whipped cream and crunchy wafers.  All was gone at the end of the meal so I think operation full, satisfied tummy fully accomplished. 

Service and Cost:
The service was pretty relaxed, and although we sat a bit far from the rest of the diners in the other room, we were definitely noticed and served promptly.  Although our waitress did a good job of asking us if we needed anything, she wasn't rushing us out to leave and I had the feeling that we could've lingered longer if we wanted to.

Costs are moderate and include:

Appetizers - $8-$12
Tacos - $8-$14
Entrees - $13-$22

3 Mmmms

Casa Enrique - 5-48 49th Avenue, LIC NY 11101
7 Train to Vernon Blvd/Jackson Avenue

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