I was lucky enough to be able to attend the wonderful grand opening party for La Loteria as well as eat there as a “civilian” and as a food blogger. There are Modern Mexican eateries popping up all over the city like sidewalk cracks, but La Loteria is exceptional. They use local produce (with the exception of their avocados which come from Mexico) and prime meats and co-owner cousins/executive chefs Julieta Ballesteros and Jaime Herrera aren’t afraid to climb out on a limb and create interesting fusion dishes.
Julieta also owns Crema, and so she has applied her skills from running that heralded eating spot to La Loteria, which is the Spanish term for a popular type of Mexican bingo. But her chances are great that this restaurant that has only been open two or three months will be the “winner” with food critics and just plain ol’ foodies alike. Some of the wonderful dishes I sampled include the simple but amazing trio of salsa that come along with warm salty tortillas known as Salsas Del Valiente on the menu ($9). I adored all three—the roasted chile de arbol, salsa verde cruda and de cachuate (peanut) enchilado. The inside story is that the cachuate almost got taken off the menu because it is really stretching Mexican cuisine into Thai cuisine, but it is a knockout that the regulars come back for every time. It’s not overly sweet. The salsa verde cruda is rich with cilantro flavor (thus my favorite) and the roasted chile de arbol has an “after burn” that is enough to clear your sinuses.
|Ceviche made with snapper|
Also, I took note that they have plenty of gluten free items and unlike most Mexican eateries, have more than seven items that will help you stick to your New Year’s diet (including the lovely ceviche). La Loteria has very much earned the 4 ½ star rating it has posted on Yelp!
29 Seventh Avenue South
New York, NY 10014
Cuisine: Modern Mexican