South American


Description – Artisanal south American cooking. Fine dining. Wood-burning oven & bar. Entrée price range approx. $18-$28.
Address – 233 Clinton St, Hoboken, New Jersey ( NJ ) 07030
Telephone – (201) 420-1700
SEE MENU HERE, their website is under construction.

sorry for the strap in the picture!

August 2006

Cucharamama is one of the top restaurants in Hoboken. From the food, to the atmosphere, to the staff, it’s always a fantastic and delicious experience. The owners also run Zafra, a popular Cuban restaurant a block away.

It’s not a giant place, with seating for around 35-40 people, plus a small bar area. There is seating outside as well, weather permitting. Reservations are highly recommended. It has a warm appeal with comfortable seating. The wood burning oven in the middle often eminates wonderful smells, only adding to the overall feel.
With many top choices on the menu, each time we eat there is a tough decision-making process. When going with a group, sharing is highly recommended.

They have lots of appetizer-like choices in the menu, along with a smaller selection of larger entrées. Additionally, they have a long list of Peruvian wines and beers, as well as Mojito-like mixed drinks. Wines by the glass ranged from $6-$15.

For today’s tasting, we had the following items.

Each table gets a serving of this fresh-baked pita-like seasoned bread and a spoon of butter (which really wasn’t necessary). This is excellent bread. Piping hot straight from the oven. Sorry for the washed out picture.

Jalea de Calamres con Aji de Rocoto – Peruvian Calamari with Tamarillo sauce ($8)
– One reviewer found this very tasty. With the tangy sauce, and cilantro-seasoned onions. Calamari was crunchy and tender inside.
– Another reviewer found this to be a bit too salty. Not sure if it was the sauce or calamari itself.

Empanada de Carne – Beef Empanadas with Chimichurri Sauce ($7)
– These are baked, not fried.
– Different than you usual empanada, with shredded beef rather than ground meat.
– Also had raisins inside as well. Very interesting and full of flavor.
– The Chimichurri sauce was a perfect complement.

Chorizo Argentino – Argentinean Sausage with peppers and onions ($9)
– Another fantastic dish. Sausage was just spicy enough and very juicy.
– Made the chorizo at Lola’s look extremely bad.
– The red chimichurri was again an ideal dipping sauce.
– A bit small for the money, but taste made up for the price.

Chicharron de Pollo Novoandino – Peruvian Chicken fingers ($8)
– Very interesting version of a popular kind of dish, coated with quinoa.
– One reviewer found the chino-latino sauce uninspiring, while another liked it more.
– Excellent quality chicken and perfectly cooked.

Papas Chorreadas con Hogo Bogotano – Columbian potatoes with tomato and cheese sauce ($7)
– This “side dish” had subtle, yet satisfying flavor.
– Potatoes cooked just right, sauce had chunks of tomato in it.
– Would make a good side for a meat entrée.

Quinoa Atamalada – Creamy Quinoa with potato and cheese ($7)
– Reminds you of a risotto or other kind of pasta. A little drier.
– Again with the subtle taste, yet addictive. One reviewer kept coming back to the dish.
– Fun consistency.

Tamal de Pipian Vallecaucano – Tamale with potato & peanut hash, creamy cheese and tomato sauce ($8)
– The ordering reviewer wasn’t too fond of this dish. Said it didn’t taste as it sounded.
– Other reviews found it ok. Food overload at this point?

Caraotas Negras Venezolanas – Venezuelan Black Bean Soup ($6)
– Like Cuban black bean soup, but a touch on the sweeter side.
– Ordering reviewer loved the soup. Great change to the more bland kind more commonly available.
– Hearty, yet had a almost refreshing kind of taste as well. Very good.

Pizza Araucana – Egg, bacon, adobo, onion, pepper pizza ($9)
– Very small, yet dense and had a great and interesting flavor.
– The bread they use is fantastic.
– A bit over-priced for what you receive.

Pechuga de Pollo Asado – Boneless Chicken breast, pumpkin mango sauce, plantain eggplant pureé ($19)
– One reviewer chose to go the entreé route
– Menu said boneless, but it wasn’t?
– Chicken tasted like chicken. Reviewer said that it didn’t taste like much else. Guess not seasoned much? But still great chicken.
– The plantain eggplant puree was a bit too sweet.
– We were a bit confused because it looked like another item on the menu.. but it wasn’t. What went wrong?

Can you believe MORE FOOD is coming?

This time a few dessert items. We don’t have a menu to display here though.

Chocolate Bread Pudding
– Not your convential bread pudding you’d expect from mom
– Was more like a slab of fudge with raisins and some chocolate liquor
– Interesting, but would probably not order again

Crepe with Apples
– Light and tasty dessert. Thin crepe with hot apples. Some kind of syrup as well.
– Simple, sweet and not overwhelming.

(Some kind of merengue, baklava, napoleon thing)
– We forgot the name of this cake dish
– Was the hit of the desserts.
– Merengue was ok (a little too sweet with the drizzled jam), but the layers of nutty pastry were excellent

Overall, Cucharamama is a great place to eat. While on the pricey side (especially when alcohol is involved), it should certainly be on your list of “special” places to eat in Hoboken. With it’s unique menu and flavor, great setting and friendly staff, you will rarely leave disappointed.

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Friday, February 13, 2009 12:32 pm

Woo-hoo! I was just there! 😀


Friday, February 13, 2009 12:22 pm

So Cucharamama chef Maricel Presilla is a semifinalist for the James Beard Foundation Award for best chef in the Mid-Atlantic region…..

Nice to see a Hoboken restaurant get a little recognition.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007 10:10 am

we’re all entitled to a little digression, now, aren’t we?

strand tramp
strand tramp
Tuesday, October 2, 2007 8:46 am

“admitted digression”? or f’n psycho?

Tama Murden
Tama Murden
Monday, October 1, 2007 8:02 pm

Re 8.MF…Oh dear, just re-read this one. You’re gripe, I’d suggest, is for the Rant thread (no criticism, just a suggestion).

Or better yet, start a new thread about “Hoboken Courting Behaviors.”

That should prove interesting…

Maybe we should suggest same to 411!!

If your dining companion (“some chick”—guess she was real memorable?), wasn’t appreciative of your restaurant choice, its romantic ambience, etc….

Her loss & perhaps an opportunity for you to reconsider your “criteria.”

Admitted digression.

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