Those are the usual queries heard at dinnertime around Manhattan. To the rescue is Leloca, a new free smartphone app that connects people with over 200 New York restaurant offering 30-50% off their regular prices so they will fill their seats! Restaurants include Aroma Wine & Kitchen, Mas (la Grillade), Pera Mediterranean Brasserie, Pera (SoHo), Yerba Buena, Ten Degrees Bar, Centro Vinoteca, Cornelia St. Café, Ayza Wine & Chocolate (West Village), Cafe du Soleil, Cafe du Soleil and many more.
Leloca’s publicist offered me the chance to try it out. I couldn’t resist and I invited a friend to join me. I knew we wouldn’t know where we’ll be dining until that day when I logged into Leloca and picked a place.
Wanting to eat at 7, I logged in at 6:15 and saw Ayza Wine & Chocolate Bar in the West Village. It’s mainly a bar, but with lots of tasty small plates. We checked in, scanned the code we received and would receive 30% off of our bill. (Prices listed are the regular ones; they do not reflect our discount)
We started with a smoky eggplant puree with roasted bell peppers, fresh parsley and toasted pita bread ($6). I liked the four spicy angry chicken lollipops ($7) in a spicy sesame and hoisin sauce and topped with crispy rice noodles. Also tasty are the crispy baby shrimp dumplings a top a seaweed salad ($7) with a garlic chile sauce for dipping.
My least favorite was the hot artichoke hearts with Irish cheddar garnished with fresh dices tomatoes and served with toasted pita ($6). We loved the not-to-be-missed salad with goat cheese brûlée with field greens, toasted walnuts and marinated beets all tossed in a truffle walnut sherry vinaigrette ($11). To give the cheese a crackled top ( brûlée ), the restaurant tops it with brown sugar and then “torches” it. I’d go back just for this signature salad.
Also amazing, is the Ayza-style pizza with crisp pita bread turned crust. We sampled the wild mushroom tart with fresh mozzarella and mushrooms topped with arugula, drizzled with truffle oil and sprinkled with shaved Parmesan.
A new place less than a year old, (second location) concept wine and chocolate.. idea quality small flavorful bites –
When you go, do leave room for chocolate dessert by Xocolatti ($3 each or choice of three $7, five $12) and Jacques Torres ($2 each or choice of four $7, six $10).
Ayza Wine & Chocolate Bar West Village
1 7th Avenue South
New York, NY 10014