K Rico –The anglicized version of the Spanish expression ‘¡Qué rico!‘, literally translates to ‘how rich’ but at the heart of the terminology, it means ‘how enjoyable, how extraordinary, how delicious!’
Two prominent entrepreneurs have joined forces to create a new dining experience in Hell’s Kitchen. Just a few steps away from Times Square, K Rico South American Steakhouse is on the right avenue (9th) along with the evolutionary changes of this burgeoning neighborhood.
Brothers John P. Greco III and Tommy Greco (above) have been successful businessmen in NYC for over a decade; they own separate establishments: Posh, The Ritz and Philip Marie…
Now, they have partnered to bring the city something that they are equally passionate about — superb cocktails, beautiful décor and a brotherly love of food with a focus on the best prime cuts of meat. Everyone knows the restaurant biz is a risky (and risqué) endeavor, but the Greco siblings are determined and could possibly become a household name, if not destination location in the vein of Smith & Wollensky’s, Ruth’s Chris and dare I say, Peter Luger.
While John oversees the kitchen as Executive Chef, Tommy is managing the dining room and greeting guests with his personality and wit. Assisting their partnership is Steven Cruz as the Chef de Cuisine.
Here is what we discovered recently.
The Cocktail Menu offers inspired concoctions made with the leading spirits and a lot of research on Latin America beverages. I recommend the Pisco Sour Grand Cru made with pisco, squeezed lime, simple syrup, egg white and Chilean Carmenere. This libation is refreshing and flavorful. I also recommend the Blood Orange Cosmo. Sweet/Tart and aromatic, this cocktail has a kick with Stoli Orange Vodka, Cointreau, cranberry juice, blood orange puree and garnish — a flavorful citrus twist on the traditional Cosmo.
Their Wine List is varied and made with some of the finest grapes from California, Argentina, Chile and Spain. You will find bottles to share that run the gamut with regards from light to medium and full-bodied vintages. I recommend the Kaiken Malbec, Reserva, Mendoza, Argentina, 2011 especially if you order a steak. This wine is bold and earthy with an intense, robust flavor and full of lush berries.
The amuse-busche for this evening was a seasoned and fried assortment of pasta. They were crunchy, a little spicy and peppery. This was not very enjoyable for me as the pasta was brittle, however, when our appetizers arrived at the table, my eyes widened, the olfactory lobe became engaged and my taste buds danced at the presentation, aroma and flavors of the Prince Edward Island Mussels (above). The portion was plentiful to share with my dinner guest. We both gushed over the rich combinations of flavors — fresh mussels steeping in a broth made with coconut, shallots, garlic, a hint of cilantro and above all, chorizo. Savory! The steaming pot is served with a generous amount of toasted baguette slices to enjoy the broth. Delectable.
I also suggest you try the Humitas de Búfalo. This tasty appetizer is made with Wild Buffalo Steamed Corn Cakes, Queso Blanco, Roasted Salsa Verde and deliciously accompanied with Pickled Red Onion Salad.
The K Rico Chopped Salad is my recommendation for a fresh transition between your appetizers and entrees. Beautifully plated, this salad is made with Romaine Lettuce, Mango, Strawberries, Papaya, Red Onion, Queso Blanco, Fire Roasted Corn Nuts and Avocado Dressing. Fresh, flavorful and perfect for sharing, the mix of flavors and textures was most enjoyable.
El Rey y La Reina
The menu offers a wide selection of meats including Entraña Skirt Steak, Ribeye, Filet Mignon and Porterhouse for Two. It’s not on the menu yet but you need to ask about The Tomahawk (above). This cut of beef will be graciously presented before grilling. When it’s prepared and returned to your table, your eyes will pop, your mouth will water and your chin will drop — it’s a carnivore’s dream.
It’s garnished with a little bit of greens while the steak itself takes the limelight — the cut offers plenty for two people to share. I’m not exactly sure of what Chefs Greco and Cruz did in the kitchen, but I did know that this cut of meat was grilled to perfection, perfectly seasoned and presented with the majesty it deserves. In one Spanish word: ¡Sabroso!
“My brother and I decided to go into business not only for financial gain; naturally we need to be successful to keep our doors open but we are also into good food, finding the best cuts of meat and passionate about this journey. We doubled the size of our kitchen and installed a separate cooler system that just houses the meat,” said Tom Greco. “What we are doing is a little different than other steakhouses, for example The Tomahawk is what they call 103 hanging rib, it’s the entire half-side of a cow and we dry-age it to make the cut more tender,” he added.
I asked him if all the steaks were aged this way. “We also do a wet-age with our Filet and Skirt Steak. What that means is the meat is aged inside its own juice and this makes the cut extremely tender and flavorful,” said Greco.
Save room for dessert. Here are several sweet options: Chocolate Espresso Flan infused with espresso tequila and semi-sweet chocolate over cappuccino whipped cream. You may also want to try the Tres Leches soaked in orange liquor with a dulce de leche sauce and candied walnuts. Check out the Alsorges Cookies, short bread cookies sandwich with dulce de leche and infused with espresso tequila.
For every woman who wants to shop and see a Broadway show in Manhattan, chances are there is a man next to her who wants a really good steak. With its attractive dining room, outdoor garden, inspired cocktails and perfectly grilled selection of prime cuts, K Rico is a welcome addition to the neighborhood and New York gastronomy.
772 9th Ave
Between 51st St & 52nd St
New York, NY