Estela feels like such a neighborhood spot, the entrance as if you’re stepping into your college buddy’s second-story walk-up on a Saturday night, bottle of something in hand, pile of boots and ballet flats strewn around the door, your mind on that one girl you met last time and wondering if she might show up tonight.House of Hao's Estela Soho New York NYC The interior is dim, vaguely shimmery from candlelight, shrouded by hushed conversations, dates and hip parties, a good energy spilling over from the crowded bar.  You want it to be a hip friend’s apartment, somewhere that if smoking were still a thing, there would be the faraway scent of that and perfume and jazz.

And fancy ginger ales.  With beautifully cubed ice.House of Hao's Estela Soho New York NYC Ginger Ale Surryano country ham.  Because, why not?  Fat and salt in a relatively primal form.House of Hao's Estela Soho New York NYC Country Ham A simple, elevated presentation of crunchy leaves of green (kale?).  But underneath this lardo-brushed canopy, some seared scallops, simple and sweet, sweetness that surprisingly held up its own to the herbacious, textured sweetness of sugar snap peas. House of Hao's Estela Soho New York NYC Scallops 1 House of Hao's Estela Soho New York NYC Scallops 2 Fried arroz negro with sepia and romesco.  So many layers of savory in this dish, as well as texture – the rice, the slippery bits of cuttlefish, and the tangy spread of romesco.House of Hao's Estela Soho New York NYC Black Rice House of Hao's Estela Soho New York NYC Black Rice Uni Sepia Lamb ribs, phenomenally tender, seasoned with chermoula (a North African spice mix) and honey.  The heavy fragrance of cumin, the crunch of the spice, the fatty gaminess of the lamb. House of Hao's Estela Soho New York NYC Lamb Ribs 2 House of Hao's Estela Soho New York NYC Lamb Ribs House of Hao's Estela Soho New York NYC Lamb Ribs 3 Incredibly soft ricotta dumplings, topped with shaved discs of nutty sunchoke, resting in a brodo of sorts.  These were Myra’s favorite, a comforting, deeply savory morsel of ricotta that falls apart wonderfully in your mouth.  Ethereal is a good word here.House of Hao's Estela Soho New York NYC Ricotta Dumplings Hearts of Palm And to finish, a chocolate ganache, loaded with airy whipped cream and a heavy dusting of chocolate powder.  I don’t know what it is about me, but I don’t get up for chocolate.  Caramel, panna cotta, ice cream, tarts, pies, donuts, anything else – but chocolate just doesn’t ring the bell for me.

Still, the other dishes we had were so inspiring, the bites that touch a chord in your chest that sends a hum of yes through your body, those are the ones that will linger.House of Hao's Estela Soho New York NYC Chocolate Cake Whipped Cream Goodnight, Houston Street.House of Hao's Estela Soho New York NYC 2Estela
47 E Houston St, New York, NY 10012
(Google Maps)

Click to add a blog post for Estela on Zomato

Advertisements