BBE Editor's Pick
A Casa Fox
173 Orchard St., New York (Lower East Side)
A young, Latin-loving crowd magically materializes when the clock strikes eight to sample Melissa Fox’s equally Latin-loving menu, in a low-key dining room where candlelight provides the major frill. Fox’s Nicaraguan mother instilled a love of indigenous-American and Spanish-Creole traditions in her daughter, whose cooking now incorporates flavors from all over the Spanish-speaking world. The black beans, firm and with a spicy kick, are done just right. Fox has a way with fried things—her take on mozzarella sticks, substituting the more-flavorful Spanish Manchego, is brilliant, as is her version of rice balls (risotto croquettes). But while the fillings for the baked empanadas—pulled pork, chorizo, queso blanco—all hit the mark, the pies might have been even better deep-fried.
Beef chimichurri skewers
Risotto croquettes with tocino (bacon) and queso
Spicy garlic shrimp with cilantro and lime
Fried Manchego with membrillo (quince)
Costillas de cerdo (pork ribs)
On chilly days, any table near the fireplace; otherwise, a seat by the window to catch the passing parade on the Lower East Side.
chew on this
The wine list is just a card, with only a few choices. Casa Fox is really about beer food, and your server is more likely to recite a list of special beers than menu specials.
Tues: 5 PM–10 PM
Wed: 12 PM-10 PM
Thurs–Sat: 12 PM–11 PM
Sun: 4 PM-10 PM
closed Mon.; no reservations for fewer than eight
$14 (rice and beans) to $24 (pork ribs)