Sweet Simplicity at Leche y Miel in the Bronx | NY Times

By Ligaya Mishan

Leche Y Miel - The Bronx - NY Times - Shrimp

The mofonguitos are finished with shrimp and a web, quickly melting, of Parmesan. (Gregg Vigliotti | NY Times)

To begin, mofonguitos: green plantains fried, mashed with garlic and olive oil, then popped into a lemon squeezer, making rough cups that look like craters. Into their maws go knots of hot, plump shrimp and a web, quickly melting, of Parmesan.

At Leche y Miel Restaurant, in the Kingsbridge section of the Bronx, mofonguitos are gloriously undainty hors d’oeuvres, the plantain base dense but starkly crunchy, the shrimp still preening with heat. They arrive staggered on an angular white plate whose austerity belies the food’s frank pleasures.

In a neighboring bowl may be a more minimalist appetizer of chickpeas boiled with mirepoix and fried so crisp that they pulverize under the teeth. Freckled with smoked paprika, they are a loftier stand-in for bar nuts, the kind of small plate as likely to be found at glossy restaurants downtown as at this quiet Latin spot in the shadow of a McDonald’s, near the end of the No. 1 line.

Rideiby Peña, the chef, and his wife, Altagracia Peña, opened Leche y Miel in December 2014. Both have roots in the Dominican Republic; Mr. Peña grew up there, and Ms. Peña in Washington Heights, where they now live. They attend church nearby, which is how they found the space, a former pizzeria flanked by a Carvel ice cream parlor and a jujitsu studio, facing the elevated train tracks.

Read more: Sweet Simplicity at Leche y Miel in the Bronx | NY Times

Leche Y Miel - The Bronx - NY Times

The grilled churrasco with chimichurri sauce. (Photo: Gregg Vigliotti | NY Times)


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