Restaurant Review: La Fonda del Sol

Dinner tonight was the most amazing deal ever, thanks to Kate!

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As part of Dine Out New York, Kate received a 50/50 coupon in honor of her birthday two weeks ago, so she invited Gina and me to help her out with it. With the coupon, we could choose from the list of participating restaurants and get $50 off our meal as long as we spent $50 between the three of us. We chose La Fonda del Sol, and I’m so glad we did since we basically just enjoyed a very affordable 11-dish tasting menu!

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We knew we wanted to order about $100 worth of food to take full advantage of the deal (i.e. spend as little as possible but still get the full $50 value of the coupon). Our server was so helpful and counseled us through the best strategy, and we decided to order mostly from the tapas menu (rather than from the main courses) so we could share and get little tastes of as much as possible.

While we were waiting for our little dishes, our server came back around to present us with a baguette option: black olive or traditional. I went for the black olive baguette, of course!

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I loved this baguette. The olives gave it a fruity flavor, and look at how prominent they were:

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Our food came out all at once, and after I spent about 20 minutes taking pictures (Kate and Gina are so patient with me!), I set to work on the task of thirding everything. I am a pro with utensil Olympics, but mostly I want to make sure that everyone gets to try equal amounts of everything, so this is my favorite job πŸ˜€ I got out my knife and split it all into thirds … some split more easily than others though!

The server noticed my excessive photography and asked what was up. When I explained about the food blog, he came back with extra menus for me to take home so that I could consult them when I wrote about the meal. Thank goodness, because I’m not sure I’d be able to remember all the critical details on my own!

Here’s how the feast went down …

Garlic shrimp “cazuelita” with olive oil, chile pods, and garlic chips:

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Salchichon de Vic with cured pork loin, chorizo, and fuet Catalan:

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Empanadas filled with chicken and chorizo:

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Piquillo peppers stuffed with Spanish rice and rabbit:

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Tuna tacos with avocado and jalapeno pickled onion:

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These baby tacos were delicious — kind of like sushi with a Spanish flair.

“Albondiguillas” meat balls skewers with tomato and pimenton:

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Sea scallops tiradito with chiles, citrus, tomato, and cilantro:

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When we were debating between these scallops and the day boat fluke tiradito (with pickled golden pineapple, avocado, and jalapeno), our server told us we needed to choose the scallops. He said they were so good that he dreamed about them at night. He was right!! I’m pretty sure that visions of scallops tiradito will be swimming through my dreams tonight.

Queso Iberico croquetas with membrillo:

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This was my favorite of all the dishes. Queso Iberico is made from a mix of cow, sheep, and goat milk, and it was so creamy and melty when we cut into the croquetas. Membrillo is a paste made of quince (a fruit that’s sort of apple-y), so the sweet sauce plus the farmy creamy cheese was an insurmountable combination.

The table kind of fell silent as we ate because every single bite was jaw-achingly delicious. We each kept saying over and over, How does everything taste so good? and, I can’t get over how many flavors there are! We were thrilled that we chose to do the meal this way because it felt like a fancy tasting menu at a fancy restaurant, which it pretty much was. Our server did tell us that we needed to come back to try the main courses, too — “It will give you tons of material for the blog” — because that’s what they’re known for. He hadn’t steered us wrong yet, so I believed him! Just have to wait until the money starts coming in …

But we weren’t done yet! Our ever reliable server gave us three dessert recommendations, and we took all of them πŸ˜›

Wicked chocolate cake with manjari chocolate, guajillo chile, cinnamon, and mint ice cream:

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I adore spicy chocolate, so I was excited about this cake. Of the three desserts, though, this was my least favorite because the rich rich chocolate overpowered the spice. Not really a problem, since I enjoy rich rich chocolate, but I wanted to taste the chile and cinnamon!

Tarta de manzana deliciosa (“delicious apple tart”) with almond cream and apricot ice cream:

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Is that tart not the most beautiful thing you have ever seen?? Those thin thin slices of apple were so painstakingly arranged! The apricot ice cream that came with it was some of the best ice cream I have ever tasted (and I’m usually not a fruity ice cream girl!):

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Bunyols/cinnamon fritters with salty caramel sauce, maracuya (passion fruit) peppercorn rose sauce, and orange chocolate sauce:

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These little cinnamon sugar donuts were so fun! The dipping sauces were genius (salted caramel, helLO) … so good that I finished them off straight from the spoon after the donuts were gone.

That would be enough to qualify as a sufficiently mind-blowing meal, right? Except that this case of miniature (think thumbnail-sized) pastries arrived with our bill … all for us!

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The case actually had three layers that pulled out like drawers. We all wanted to take it home!

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I requested a knife again so that I could do the Olympic honors and slice everything into thirds. The goodies (the specialty of the in-house pastry chef) did not come with labels, but my guess is that the little squares were almond cakes with buttercream icing, the yellow circles were sandwich cookies with maracuya cream, the triangles were lemon tarts, and the chocolates were filled with dark chocolate hazelnut cream. For drool purposes:

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So … I guess you could say that I loved this restaurant. I recommend it 100 million percent with no reservations. It is pretty pricey, but if I had the money, I would pay full price to eat here — it was that good. Thanks to Kate’s incredible birthday deal, the entire meal (including tax) came to just $59 for all three of us. We definitely walked out of that restaurant feeling quite pleased with ourselves (and perfectly satisfied with our perfect food amounts). As Kate said, “It’s been a good food week for us!”

So, if you’re in New York and you can afford it, you have to eat here, or at least sign up for Dine Out New York so you can get in on the 50/50 action, too!

What’s the best dining deal you have encountered?

P.S. I am entering Danielle’s Vacation Giveaway, and you should, too. She’s got some cute and tasty treats up for grabs that I can use to pretend I actually went somewhere fun and beachy this summer πŸ˜€

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18 thoughts on “Restaurant Review: La Fonda del Sol

  1. Jessica (jesslikesithot) says:

    I’m so hung up on that olive bread…..it’s one of my favorites!!

    I had this delicious focaccia bread with my veggie sandwich today and it was so doughy and sweet, you would love it!! (??) πŸ™‚

    Glad you enjoyed the restaurant and got such a good deal! Majorrr score!

    Like

  2. Alison says:

    Wow! Everything looks so delicious. I can’t decide what I like best. I went to a tapas place like that once during restaurant week – they had a big meal for $30.

    Like

  3. Christina says:

    Everything looks amazing, I love tapas! And those little pastries are so adorable. I may just have to think up a special occasion that would prompt someone to bring me there πŸ™‚

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  4. Gina Boland says:

    You captured our meal and reactions to it very well! Maybe I will use my 50/50 coupon for this same restaurant this year!

    Like

  5. Melissa @ For the Love of Health says:

    oh man!! all of that looks so amazing!!
    That’s so great you found such a great place. I don’t blame you guys for being speechless while you ate- the food was obviously as good as it looked!
    That’s great you had an amazing time!!

    They have “Winterlicious” and “Summerlicious” here in Toronto where the upscale restaurants offer price fixed menus for about two week period so us regular folk can afford to eat there. Great program!

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  6. Heather Eats Almond Butter says:

    Amazing amazing amazing. You had me at olive bread, but I’m dying over those cheese balls, and don’t even get me started on the desserts. I bet the mint ice-cream paired really well with the rich chocolate. Yum Sarah. YUM YUM YUM! So glad you go to enjoy a nice dinner, and that your friends were patient enough to let you snap all those pictures. πŸ™‚

    Like

  7. biz319 says:

    I took a cooking class one time where we made panini’s on olive bread – I don’t usually like olives, but it was amazing!

    I love tiny plates of tastes! We have a local restaurant that does tapas every Thursday night – its pricey – between the two of us, with the wine pairings and 9 courses, dinner came to $150 (without tip!) and we had to stop at a Burger King on the way home because my husband was still hungry!

    We have learned that he orders off the main menu, and we each get the wine pairings together – works out great!

    Great job on the review!

    Like

  8. Amelia says:

    Great review! This restaurant is actually just a block from my office, so I’m always checking out the people eating inside. I might have to save my pennies and try it out soon! πŸ™‚

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