Your CurAte dinner party this week was provided by El Sazón located on Lyell Ave near State St and right around the corner from the soccer stadium. El Sazón is a Dominican restaurant serving up comfort classics for around 5 years now in the neighborhood! I worked in the Mt Read and Lyell Ave area for years and exploring this area was one of the formative experiences of my food and drink journey. Between the wide variety of cuisines and learning the regions of the city of Rochester I highly recommend making an effort to visit these places in person.
Dominican food is most well known for stick to your ribs fare including roasted, fried and stewed meats, well seasoned rice, and plantains (mofongo!) of all styles. Typically the stews (and many other dishes) are based around an aromatic base called sofrito or sazon usually including peppers, onion, garlic, herbs, and an acidic element. You’ll also find fruit drinks, desserts, and seafood in many establishments as well.
For this meal from El Sazón, you’ll be diving into generous servings of pernil (roast pork), pollo al horno (baked chicken), yellow rice and stewed beans, plantains alongside chicken and beef empanadas with cheese. If you do need to re-heat any elements of the dishes, a quick hit in the microwave will work for most of it. To re-heat the empanadas, I would recommend a toaster oven for a crispy finish.
Just so you know: we're changing how we bundle meals from this event going forward. The change will result in warmer food, more prompt pickup, and a little less non-recyclable waste. Delivery customers shouldn't notice any difference. Pickup customers may experience a slight initial wait as we get used to the new process.
Make sure to check out El Sazón at 144 Lyell Ave near State Street. They do have their own parking lot just to the rear of the restaurant if you prefer off street parking. They have a wide variety of dishes available, daily specials, and a dining area if you prefer to eat on site.
For those joining us for pickup, we thank our friends at The Historic German House and hope you took advantage of our pairing purchase option on site!
- Wine: For this meal I would edge toward a higher acid white wine to cut through the richness of the meal. Something along the lines of a FLX unoaked chardonnay or an off dry riesling would be perfect. We’d recommend a producer like Fox Run or Osmote. We recommend visiting places like Parkway, Pinnacle or Baytowne or your favorite well stocked store.
- Beer: For this event we are adding in an additional couple beers from the WNY area! You’ll be able to purchase a balanced NE IPA from Rising Storm called What’s the Scenario and also a darker beer from Thin Man in Buffalo called Lagerkoller (Baltic Porter). We’ll also have some of the beers you’ve had from prior events as well (hefeweizen and fruited sour). These all offer different pairing directions with the dishes tonight you can go down based on what kind of flavors you enjoy.
- Cocktail: If you have the ingredients on hand, a drink with some lemon acidity would be perfect. I’ve been enjoying Sidecars recently and it would be a very good fit for this meal. The classic verison is based on cognac, but a quality bourbon or rye also work quite well.
- 2 oz spirit
- 1 oz Cointreau
- ¾ oz lemon juice (fresh squeezed please!)
- Shake vigorously and strain into a chilled coupe glass
- Cider: We are excited to have our first offering in our new cider program starting this evening! We’ll be offering a semi-dry heritage apple based cider from Black Diamond Cider on Cayuga Lake in 750 ml format called Hickster. It is lightly carbonated, well balanced and a perfect pairing for melas in general and especially for our meal tonight.