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Café Cortadito

Critic's Pick Critics' Pick

210 E. 3rd St., New York, NY 10009 40.722522 -73.98269
nr. Ave. B  See Map | Subway Directions Hopstop Popup
212-614-3080 Send to Phone

  • Cuisine: Caribbean, Latin American
  • Price Range: $$$

    Key to Prices and ratings

    Upscale
    • Almost Perfect
    • Exceptional
    • Generally Excellent
    • Very Good
    • Good
    Cheap Eats
    • Best in Category
    • Excellent
    • Delicious
    • Very Good
    • Noteworthy
    • Very Expensive
    • Expensive
    • Moderate
    • Cheap
  • Reader Rating:

    7 out of 10

      |  

    18 Reviews | Write a Review

Photo by Jeremy Liebman for New York Magazine

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Official Website

cafecortadito.com

Hours

Tue-Sat, noon-11pm; Sun, noon-10pm; Mon, closed

Nearby Subway Stops

F at Second Ave.; F, J, M, Z at Delancey St.-Essex St.

Prices

$16.95-$25.95

Payment Methods

American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Special Features

  • Brunch - Weekend
  • Lunch
  • Private Dining/Party Space
  • Take-Out
  • Reservations Not Required

Alcohol

  • Beer and Wine Only

Reservations

Accepted/Not Necessary

Profile

Few foods exert as tantalizing a pull on the Underground Gourmet’s voracious appetite as rice and beans. Throw in a vinegary avocado salad and some fried plantains and you’ve got the ideal U.G. meal: tasty, filling, and cheap. So it’s no wonder our interest was piqued by the quiet arrival of Café Cortadito, a Cuban-inspired oasis just off Avenue B, where a platter of dried black beans sitting in the window drew us in like a flashing Krispy Kreme hot doughnuts sign. Cortadito occupies that sparsely populated middle ground between Latin lunch counter and the full-blown quasi-formal service and stylized tropical vibe of Victor’s Cafe, where, not coincidentally, Cortadito’s mom-and-pop owners used to work. Cortadito, like Victor’s, is old school—less Nuevo Latino than vieja Havana, down to traditional dishes like the vaca frita and the obligatory (and delicious) Cuban sandwich. But the place has the unpretentious, hospitable aura of a home kitchen, with the chef toiling away behind the counter and his wife greeting guests and taking orders. Ceiling fans whirl overhead, and a flat-screen TV tuned most often to the ball game hangs opposite a wall mural depicting a café not unlike Cortadito itself, apart from such louche, pre-Bloombergian touches as brazenly lit cigarettes and a trespassing pit bull. Chef Ricardo Arias comes from El Salvador, and his wife, Patricia Valencia, is Ecuadoran, but you won’t find pupusas or seviche on the gently priced menu. You will find red meat, and lots of it. The various beefy dishes are tangily marinated and nicely grilled, served on wavy white platters with a neat mound of white rice and a cup of soupy black beans.

Note

An equally tiny back room accommodates groups.

Ideal Meal

Avocado salad, $10.95; churrasco, $20.95; arroz con leche, $8

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