Thursday, March 12, 2009

NYC's Only Chilean Restaurant

Pomaire / 371 W 46th St/New York, NY 10036
(212) 956-3055
Looking back when I was 17 and I declined the invitation to go to Chile with my parents so I could stay home alone. I still want to slap myself, especially now that I have experienced Chilean food first hand. Pomaire, named after a Chilean town known for its pottery, is the only Chilean restaurant in Manhattan. Add that to the fact that it's located on restaurant row in the heart of NYC's tourist area, and you have a recipe for success.

Last Saturday, Jaquie and I entered the dim restaurant for a late lunch to notice we were the only customers. I thought to myself, "Is this place bad?" I hadn't read many reviews, and the staff acted like we had caught them with their pants down. At this point we nearly turned back, but instead I asked "Are you open?". We were then greeted by the Chilean version of Rico Suave that even seemed hesitant to give us the table we wanted within an empty restaurant. I let it slide and hoped that the poor welcome did not reflect on their food.
As we looked over the menu, we snacked on some amazing home made bread that was paired with Pebre, an acidic and spicy salsa made with Chilean spices. Make a note to try the pumpkin bread… it’s a very unique experience.

Open Sesame!! Kitchen doors opened and as the food was prepared, the staff seemed to warm up along with it.

We had decided on the beef empanadas and ceviche for apps. The empanadas were the largest i’ve seen with a very thin dough on the outside and stuffed with interesting ingredients such as olives, raisins and boiled eggs. Add some pebre, and you can’t go wrong.
The mixed seafood ceviche called Mariscal was a party of different seafood in one. It was a wise choice. The shrimp, clams, mussels and scallops were mouth-watering especially when slurped up with a spoonful of onion and spicy juices from the bottom of the bowl.

As my main dish I had traditional Chilean seafood chowder. A seafood after party with more of the market fresh mussels, shrimps, and scallops served in a clay pot (hence the name of the place) with chanco cheese, which is very popular throughout Chile.
Jaquie had the roasted pork loin with a mushroom crab cake and roasted potatoes topped with mushrooms and a regional mushroom sauce. While very delicious, it wasn’t really the highlight of the meal.

We took a break before dessert, and Jaquie had some wine while I tried a pisco sour which is a brandy distilled from grapes…pretty tasty. We then realized that the early dinner crowd appeared out of thin air. I guess our food gave us a sort of tunnel vision.
The dessert, papayas in syrup, was my favorite discovery. Though it carries the same name as the papaya that most Latin food lovers know, this fruit has the texture and amazing taste combinations of mangoes, peaches and YES papayas. Jaquie chose a meringue dessert that was layered with a popular Chilean sweet cream resembling a layered cake. The crunchy texture of the meringue a nice surprise that just melted in your mouth.

Needless to say, Pomaire does a great job at being the sole representative of Chilean cuisine in New York City. Though a bit pricey, it requires a return visit.
Pomaire on Urbanspoon


  1. Hey Danny!! Really good job with this website! That papaya desert does look a lot like carica if you know what that is...
    Im looking fwd to trying this chilean spot!

  2. I have actually been there! My ex was Chilean:)
    Great hearty food. To bad the seafood is not fresh like it is in Chile though.

  3. Hi Danny,
    Can you tell me how much your meal cost per person (with tax and tip)? The restaurant sounds interesting and I'd like to possibly check it out. Thanks.

  4. Elie- what is Carica? I would love to try it out. Let's get together one day

  5. Good place - remember it from 10 years ago. :-)

  6. Being half Chilean myself, I can attest that the food is top-notch. Rivals that of my abuelita's! The initial service is also true-Chilean, takes them a while to warm up, but once they do, it's priceless! Great write-up - makes me want to eat there tonight!

  7. A sign that a place is good is that they are in business for a long time, this one has been around for over 10 years.

  8. I miss Pomaire Restaurant, that was my hidden spot when I lived in NYC. Besides the excellent quality of their food I found out that Chileans don´t like noise, yelling, talking loud, or loud music so I could go and read my paper in peace. This place is rather expensive but you get what you pay for.

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