The other night my friend and I decided to try out Macao Trading Co In Tribeca for dinner. She desired exciting cocktails, I wanted oysters, and Macao seemed to be the place that might satisfy both of our cravings. By the end of the night, my friend was loving oysters, and I could not get enough of their Kaffir Jimlets. Mission accomplished!
The ambiance of the restaurant immediately set the tone for the evening. Between the dim lighting, eccentric decor, and randomly placed antiques we could not wait to see what the night had in store for us. Regardless of how the oysters were going to taste, we knew that we were in for a treat.
After a round of seductively playful cocktails, we proceeded to begin our meal with an order of one dozen oysters. They had two types that night; both from the East Coast. The Stingrays were surprisingly not too salty, very fresh, and had a lingering taste of the sea. The Pemaquids were much saltier, briny and had a sudden finish. We both preferred the Stingrays to the Pemaquids, and even considered ordering another half-dozen. Overall the shucking job was not bad, and the oysters were very fresh. We knew our journey had begun
To continue our meal, we put our faith into the hands of Chef Josh Blakely. Clearly the right choice, our dinner only continued to tease our palate and ended with a bang. We had the octopus carpaccio, which was incredibly tender and refreshing, with flavors that burst in our mouth. The clams with chorizo that followed added a hint of spice, kicking our dinner into a whole new gear. The next dish, shrimp with head on, was by far one of our favorite. There is no comparable pleasure to breaking off the head of the shrimp and sucking on the juices. The seared scallops were fantastic, but the braised heritage pork belly completely blew us away. So intense in flavor, yet delicate in texture, it simply melted in our mouths. Even though the restaurant’s main focus is on Portuguese and Asian cuisine, there is definitely a hint of Basque influence, which skillfully enhances the dishes.
With a sexy atmosphere, outstanding food, and superb cocktails, Macao is a great restaurant to either start or finish your night. This is the perfect place for a first date, or to grab a bite at the end of a fun night. The kitchen is open late, and they never stop shucking. There is no doubt that I will be back for some oysters and pork belly.
Macao Trading Co
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