Greetings Food lovers! Aimee & Kevin Ellis  reporting to you with full stomachs and satisfied smiles as we have just finished a delightful meal at Ramiro’s 954 on Route 6 in Mahopac.
Well folks, I was a little nervous about this HVRW Fall 2012 restaurant selection. Still trying to broaden my culinary horizons, I’m still the resident Plain Jane at heart. Being very sensitive to spicy food, I was a bit apprehensive about what to order. Kevin wasn’t worried at all. He likes a good spicy kick to the back of throat from time to time. What he was concerned about, was that the parking lot was practically empty. Thankfully, we did a bit of homework just before going and saw that Ramiro’s was named one of the best new restaurants in the Hudson Valley by Hudson Valley Magazine! This turned our nervousness and concern to excitement almost instantly.
When we walked into Ramiro’s we were greeted by friendly staff. We had our choice of table since there was only one other couple seated inside. We chose a spot off to the side where we could have private conversation and quietly observe our surroundings and the people in it. I couldn’t stop looking around! A gorgeous dark wood bar commanded the space, and the room was full of tables and chairs, some bar-height, and the rest for regular dining.
There was something very calming and romantic about the earthy tones and dark wood beams, it just warmed our senses. The place was inviting and though dimly light, you could easily make out each color within the beautiful paintings on the walls. In a back corner was a spiral staircase leading to a second floor full of art by both local and Latin American artists. I don’t think we have ever been to a restaurant that devoted an entire level to artwork, and we thought that was fantastic. What good luck for chef & owner, Ramiro Jimenez, than to spend his days with his two passions; food and art?
As we sat down, we were presented with both the regular menu and the special menu for restaurant week. We looked carefully at both and chose to order from the special menu, since it was the same food from the regular menu, but offered at a better price. They also gave us a wine/beverage list. We aren’t big drinkers, but decided to order a Tropical Martini to share. The drink was strong, as it should be, but it was smooth and very pretty to look at. Another waiter came by and offered us bread which we gladly accepted and then he put a small bowl on the table with butter and, I couldn’t believe it, whole cloves of roasted garlic! YUM!
We happily enjoyed our garlic bread and talked about our day and before we knew it, the waitress was back to take our order. Kevin ordered first, as usual. He had the Salmon Ceviche appetizer (Organic Salmon tossed with lime juice, avocado, cilantro, onion, and red beet juice). He ordered the Churrasco a la Parrilla for his main course (Grilled skirt steak served over morita chile sauce, caramelized onions, green beans and corn rice). Kevin commented that the ceviche was a small portion, but completely amazing. He loves seafood and this was his first taste of ceviche. It was stunning to look at, and tasted light and flavorful. It had just a little kick from the jalapeño garnish. The main course was as good as the first. The steak was cooked medium rare as he had requested. The flavor was excellent and the chile sauce was not overpowering.
I ordered the Empanadas de Picadillo appetizer (two crispy turnovers filled with ground beef, onion, pepper, tomato, raisins, and olives with a chipotle drizzle on top). Even with the spicy drizzle, I found these to be really enjoyable. The heat from the chipotle wasn’t too bad, but it definitely had a kick to it. And by the way, they give you 2 empanadas, which is a meal in itself! I’m glad Kevin’s ceviche was small because he was able to help me eat my appetizer. For my main entree, I ordered the Arroz con Pollo (pan roasted chicken breast served with tomato rice, sweet peas, onion, grilled asparagus and saffron sauce). Seems pretty typical of me to order chicken – right? Well, I was going to go with the Pernil con Mojo (braised pork shank with chile sauce and traditional rice and beans ) but I thought better of it. If I were to fall too far out of my comfort zone, I don’t think I would have enjoyed the food as much. The tomato rice was A-MAZING. There were little tiny pieces of tomato and peas in it and had a creamy texture that I cannot even begin to explain. Beyond that, the outer layer of the rice was surrounded by a moat of saffron sauce. When I tasted it, it reminded me a lot of a fancy mayonaise. I’m don’t really like mayo. I could have done without the saffron sauce, but it didn’t make or break my meal. I just ignored it and like I said.. the rice!? Fabulous. It was the best rice I’ve had. Ever.
When our dinner plates were cleared and my leftovers were wrapped up, we ordered our dessert. The choices were:
Torte de chocolate (chocolate torte with vanilla ice cream and raspberry sauce)
Flan de Vanilla (traditional custard served with caramel sauce, whipped cream and chocolate cigar)
Pastel des tres leches (sponge cake soaked in 3 milk syrup, garnished with mango salsa, passion fruit reduction and whipped cream)
Kevin ordered the Flan and I opted for the chocolate torte. Both were very good, but we were so full it was almost hard to finish!
Ramiro’s 954 will come highly recommended to anyone who asks. We honestly cannot not wait to visit them again, and will do so very soon!