Fans of Chef Rafael Palomino’s Vida restaurant in Murray Hill love the ceviches, oyster and sweet plantain mofungo, seafood paella, and for dessert, churros (cinnamon and sugar sticks). Outdoor patio in the summer. Open for dinner every day; brunch on Sun. Reservations recommended on weekends.
No one takes their cocktails more seriously than Chef Rafael Palomino, who approaches his bar with an anthropologist's zeal for authenticity. At Sonora, you'll find faithfully crafted versions of all the currently popular Latin American drinks, including Peruvian Pisco sours, Mexican margaritas, and especially the national drink of Brazil, the sophisticated Caipirinha. This clean, urbane take on the margarita is made simply with muddled lime wedges, sugar and Brazilian cachaca, liquor made from fermented sugar cane. One sweet/tart sip and you'll feel the offshore breeze in Rio.
Chef Rafael Palomino's trio de ceviches salutes three countries: there's the Ecuadorian with oyster, avocado, and tomato; the Peruvian with octopus, red onions, and cilantro in an aji Amarillo (hot, yellow chile sauce); and the Colombian with salmon, passion fruit, onions, cilantro, and habanero. Order a Brazilian caipirihna with it (sugar cane rum, muddled limes, sugar, and freshly squeezed lime juice), then tell us it's not wonderful.