Friday, April 27, 2012

See Ya at Cielito

There are still a few days left in Poetry Month (AKA April), and as I've reported previously, several local bars/restaurants have opted to take some of the cruelishness (that wasn't an earthquake, that was Chaucer rolling over in his grave) out of the month with poetry-inspired cocktails. So get out there and order away. We did last evening, and at Cielito had the pleasure of sipping the Paradise Found, which lives up to its name. Think of it as a margarita's more exotic cousin, with chile-infused tequila, more fruit punch (haha) than just citrus--peach, in fact--, and a bit of smokiness too, all topped with an edible orchid. It's so good, you might decide to find paradise twice in one evening.

And if you're wondering, why, yes--Cielito's kitchen is still a marvel. Chef Ramon Velazquez creates what I want to call Mexushi, artfully bridging his own culture (and knowing how many cultures that really contains--how silly of us to talk about Mexican food as if it were monolithic) with the precision of plating, the eye for detail, and the desire to serve only the freshest of fish that is the hallmark of good sushi (and Velazquez worked at Arigato for a dozen years). His small plates are all pretty and more than pretty delicious, from the quesadilla Ciudad de Mexico that dresses up the simple with grilled asparagus, pickled mushrooms, and the melding (or is that melting?) of both jack and goat cheese to the ceviche verde that adds a bit of Mediterranean and Caribbean to the mix, what with green olives in with the halibut, avocado, and more and each bite atop a plantain chip.

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