have you been to South America? i haven’t. i’d like to go. and if the food there is anything like it is at Alma33, i’d reallllly like to go, just to eat my way through the countries. (well, that, and dance. let’s be realistic here.)

if you live in nyc, or visit nyc, you need to go to Alma33 in Greenwich Village (W8th & MacDougal).
and then you can write me an email/text/personal “thank you” note afterward. or, if you’re that taken with this perfect little Argentinian restaurant (where a Brazilian waitress brings you Argentinian wine and speaks beautiful Spanish, sending you into an immediate desire to be Latina) that you really can’t thank me enough for introducing you to it, you can always invite me to dinner & drinks. trust me — you’ll want to go back, too.

there’s a lot to love about this few-months-old cozy little place, starting with the earth-toned, wood and leather decor and circular corner booths that beckon to tuck you away.

i was fortunate to go on a non-busy weekday night, so we not only had superb service and a corner booth, but were able to chat with the staff as well. they were personable, welcoming, and extremely knowledgeable about South American food & wine.

i pretty much always order a salad or seafood when i go out to eat, so this was no exception. we both ordered fish. branzino for me (served with a grapefruit & greens salad), orata for him. both were delicious.

                                                                                       Branzino (filet)

                                                     Orata (whole fish — yep, tail and eye included)

when i saw the description “whole roatsed fish” on the menu, i knew i wouldn’t be ordering a dinner that i could visualize flopping all over the table and into my lap. one ended up at our table nonetheless, and i’m pretty sure this was my first time eating dinner with an animal that actually resembles the entirety of its living self slapped before me.

some eye-digging definitely ensued:

gross. but i did try a bite, and this lil guy was super tasty. (the fish, not the eye. please — who do you think i am?)

i’m not much for ordering dessert, but the waitress suggested this spongecake w/ strawberries and dulce du leche, and it was definitely a perfect ending to a scrumptious meal.

i’d definitely go back here, for about 12 reasons…and that strawberry deliciousness only accounts for maybe 3 of them. Alma 33 did just about everything right. if i can’t eat in Cartagena or Buenos Aires for the time being, i can be happily content here.

for now.