Mon-Fri, 4pm-midnight; Sat-Sun, 11am-3pm and 4pm-midnight
A at Dyckman St.
American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
Dominicans call mamajuana – the potion of wine, honey, herbs, and rum -- a natural aphrodisiac. You could say the same about Mamajuana Café, a loungey, laid-back roost for upper Manhattan’s beautiful people. Good-looking servers sway their hips to tropical tunes as they double-kiss a stream of casual-chic regulars sipping signature cocktails. Mostly terrific tapas, served on sleek white porcelain rectangles, fuse Dominican and other Latin flavors into alluring combinations like salty-sweet cod-stuffed plantain and “free-form Spanish” pizzas topped with chorizo or picante peppers. Both romantic and kitschy, the wide, dim room is outfitted with dark-wood beams and plank floors, along with a giant, smiling sun painted over the wood-burning oven and a “Ponce de Leon” floor lamp bearing bulbs on a spear. Tuesdays and Thursdays, the atmosphere heats up with live flamenco and bossa nova (but alas, no dancing). Weekends, the place practically erupts as the whole neighborhood seems to squeeze in.Recommended Dishes
Madero relleno de bacalao, $10; salmon, $22; cordero, $24