Published On: Sun, Mar 8th, 2009

NYC’s newest best kept secret, Yerba Buena restaurant.


I have been doing this website thing for a long time…and I believe I have done my best to keep it real about what this website is and what it is not. Sofrito For Your Soul was meant to be a place in which we share all things cultural. That said, I want to share with you…my new favorite place to dine in NYC.

Yerba Buena located in the east village is New York's newst best kept secret. Now let me preface this by saying normally I enjoy places that are low key…have huge portions and whose food game is on the money…even if they are considered a "hole in the wall". This place is on a whole different level. Now although I did spend some years in the Culinary Arts, I am not a restaurant critic, so I will not sit hear and write about decor and talk to you about the chef's credentials (I will give you links to their reviews)

What I will write about is how I had the most romantic Valentines Day ever thanks to owner Giovanny Campos and his staff (especially Gianni our waiter). I will start by saying that I ventured out with some friends to scout out the perfect location for the occasion, I mean what do you expect?  I did marry a "Reina". I must have checked out like 5 different restaurants that shall remain nameless, but when I walked in to Yerba Buena, I just knew it was the right place. The hostess gave me a very warm and inviting greeting even though they were extremely busy and she knew I was just there to ask questions. My first impression was awesome…looking around at the tables I was impressed by the food's presentation and how well synchronized the staff was. I was given a copy of the special Valentines Day Menu and I made my reservation.

Now, Valentines day with my beautiful Reina is very personal so I will not share too much, but to say that we had the most amazing time and we were treated like family. The staff was very detailed from the time that they seated us (and took our coats) until we walked out and were thanked by by everyone that worked there (even the Manager). Our 4 course meal included some very tasty "firsts" for us…like Salmon Caviar, Lobster Ceviche and their incredible signature "Poquito Picante" cocktail…every course included a special drink that perfectly accompanied it. The food was to die for (DELICIOSO!!!)…and needless to say, I scored major brownie points for being detailed in my planning.

Everything was perfect…so perfect that we ended up making dinner plans a week later and when we could not find parking around that restaurant, we gave up (very easily) and ended up driving back downtown to experience Yerba Buena's once more (I had the Seafood Paella). We have officially named this place our new favorite romantic dinner spot. I am sharing this with you so that you too can discover this amazing incarnation of our Latino (& Culinary) culture.

You need to check out the place that the NY Times  said "punches above its weight. This tiny pan-Latin spot in the East Village has the swagger, service and potted palms of a restaurant three times its size"

Buen Provecho!!!

(PS…special thanks to my beautiful research assistant…for making the nights at Yerba Buena paradise on earth…besitos)

As I am,

George Torres

The Urban Romantic Jibaro

Follow me on twitter @UrbanJibaro

Yerba Buena is located at

23 Avenue A (Second Street), East Village; (212) 529-2919.

For more information and reviews, visit them at Yerba Buena NYC

NYC’s newest best kept secret, Yerba Buena restaurant.