Mojo Rising

A new lease on Nuevo Latino at The District

The District chef Horacio Rivadero likes telling stories with his pan-American plates.

The Argentine Rivadero cooked at OLA under Nuevo Latino pioneer Douglas Rodriguez, and then later at The Dining Room. Similar to the previous restaurants, The District's menu hews to Nuevo Latino fundamentals while playing with eclectic ingredients like togarashi and pickled peaches.

Chef Horacio Rivadero

For instance, Rivadero describes the mash-up of cuisines that inspire his Afro-Cuban pork shoulder ($22): The collard greens evoke the food traditions that African slaves spread throughout the Americas while mojo sauce, made with Cuban cachucha peppers and smoked paprika, draws on Cuban Creole cooking.

The chef then tops the crisp-skinned pork with vinegary bell peppers and onions–a take on the Haitian condiment, pikliz. Despite all the narratives, Rivadero edits all of the stories into one cohesive dish.

There's also a simple but terrific corn on the cob dressed with just the right amount of chipotle mayo, feta and ancho chile powder ($6).

Pastry chef Veronica Manolizi garnishes the Black Magic dessert with tangy sweet potato sauce.

Most desserts at The District also riff on Latin classics; however, our favorite way to end a meal there is with Black Magic ($8), a semi-frozen dark chocolate confection reminiscent of a Little Debbie® snack cake that grew up to be a bombshell.

There are some stories that never get old. Nuevo Latino cuisine, when done well, is the same way.