Fork in the Road Reviews Islero (Plus Bonus Recipe)


In this week’s paper, I review Islero, a new tapas spot on East 50th Street.

The upshot is that Islero has potential, but it doesn’t seem to know itself very well. Throughout a meal at Islero, there are some inexplicable choices that seem to be an awkward reach for trendiness or fanciness—too many fussy garnishes, squeeze-bottle squiggles of sauce, chairs that tower strangely over the tables.

But some of the food is really tasty, and if the place would just relax into itself, I think it would be a good neighborhood spot.

The recipe (it’s simple this week!) for Islero’s best dish, arroz cremoso, after the jump.

Islero’s Arroz Cremoso
Yield: 4 Servings

4 ounces forbidden Chinese black rice (see note)
1 tablespoon olive oil
6 cups hot chicken stock
1/2 cup creme fraiche
1 tablespoon white truffle oil
2 ounces drunken goat cheese, cut in cubes
3 ounces Manchego cheese, shredded

In a pot over medium heat, combine rice and olive oil, and stir until all grains are coated and shiny. As if you were making risotto, add the chicken stock in 1/2 cup increments, stirring after each addition until chicken stock is absorbed by the rice. Once all the chicken stock has been absorbed by the rice, remove from heat and stir in the creme fraiche and truffle oil. Serve into 4 bowls, top each with an equal amount of the goat cheese cubes and shredded Manchego cheese. Serve immediately.

Note: Forbidden Chinese black rice can be found at Kalustyans.