If you are looking for dining with fun and flair in the Upper West Side, make a date to check out recently opened Hey Mambo. The vibrant and lively ambiance, modeled after an Orient Express railroad car from the 1920s, is a great spot for a group night out with friends in the outdoor garden or a casual date indoors among the decorative Art Deco pieces.
Owner Tuvia Feldman has traveled the world over, bring different flavors and cuisines right here in one spot on the Upper West Side. Feldman brought over Executive Chef Moussa Thiam, a key participant in the opening of L’Express, French Roast, and Nice Matin, who infuses his French influence into the menu.
We started off with some shared appetizers, which included the crabcakes. Unlike many subpar crabcakes that you find outside of Maryland, you can truly taste the fresh crab. The sauce accompanies the crabcakes well as opposed to overpowering them.
The Mambo Triplet Slider Burgers can be served as an entree, but this also makes a great appetizer to share. 3-oz. each of 3 Mambo burgers: beef with basil mayo, lamb burger with harissa chili suace, and a turkey burger with the Mambo house BBQ sauce. After trying all three and choosing your favorite, you can also opt for the 8-oz. version as well. While I normally say it’s not worth filling up on fries, these are topped with herbs and cheese for fantastic flavor.
The favorite dish of the night was the baked tagliolini pasta dish with a bechamel cheese sauce and ham. Thick and creamy, it is not a dish to trifle with and think you can power through. Another special for the night was the monkfish complemented with orzo rice.
Happily stuffed with carbs, we went full-steam to the main dish. Before you head to the restaurant, be sure to check out the plat du jour to see what you’re hankering for most and when to go. We went on a Wednesday and could not turn down the grilled rack of lamb served with a side of rosemary roasted fingerling potatoes. We’ll be back on Fridays to try their seafood risotto, and on Saturday for their Osso Bocco served with couscous pilaf.
What meal would be complete without cocktails and dessert? Hey Mambo’s cocktail menu contains a slew of creatively concocted cocktails created by house mixologist Blake Poon. People obsessed with ginger flavored cocktails will likely opt for El Ginger, Herruda silver tequila, cointreau, gingery syrup, lime juice, and agave. For something that will whisk you away to another island, try the Amsterdam with fresh muddled blueberries, Jack, cassis, lemon and pineapple juice. For those who want to stay up all night dancing the night away, the Café Mambo will get your buzz going in more way than one with whiskey, cointreau, espresso, cinnomon, all topped with a dollop of foam. Five specialty beers, including Ithaca Flower Power IPA and Lagunitas Little Sumpin’ ale, are also available on draft.
The dessert menu is simple, but certainly does the trick and is perfect for sharing. The crème brûlée boasted the perfectly caramelized top and was delightfully creamy. My eye also wandered to a neighbor’s Mambo cheesecake and panacotta, and others include the classic French apple tart tatin with vanilla ice cream and a selection of house-made sorbets and ice cream.
In addition to dinner, Hey Mambo also serves up lunch, brunch, and tea time. Tea time, you say? Their eclectic Tea Time menu is served between 4pm and 6pm where you can try their special two-course meal with a complimentary beer or wine. Stop by and check out the quaint outdoor garden with seating for 36, perfect for al fresco dining during the New York summer.
487 Amsterdam Avenue
Upper West Side
Hours of operation:
Dinner: 6-11pm, 7 days
Lunch: 11am-4pm, Mon-Fri
Weekend brunch: 10am-4pm
Tea Time: 4-6pm, Mon-Fri.
Breakfast to be announced soon.
Photos via Benvenuti Public Relations and by Socially Superlative