Catharsis is as vibrant as its Calle Ocho neighborhood: whitewashed walls surround tables adorned with wild orchids and flickering candles, framing an inventive fusion of Latin and Italian cuisines. Grilled corvina and creative risotto dishes rank among the menu's star attractions, but the chefs might just as easily tickle palates with guava emulsions, cognac reductions, crunchy plantains, or tomato-mango pico de gallo. The dulcet sounds of Spanish musicians echo throughout Catharsis?s cavernous space, letting diners know when it's a good time to change into their Zorro costume.
Holy Bagels & Pizzeria Downtown serves up Kosher meals bookended by bagels for breakfast and pizza later in the day. Breakfast brings a flurry of entrees that go beyond typical day starters with skakshuka (eggs cooked in a veggie sauce) and a bagel platter with smoked salmon and the works. But the variety doesn't end there. Throughout the day, housemade focaccia bread still warm from the oven becomes the base for sandwiches stuffed with Mediterranean treats like fried eggplant, hardboiled eggs, and hummus. Chefs also build plates of pasta and a fish specialties, including pecan-encrusted salmon. If that's not enough inspiration to eat every meal here for the rest of your life, two dozen kosher sushi rolls keep the party going and signature pizzas pop out of the oven with toppings like spicy tuna or pesto sauce.
Owners Horacio Oliveria and Jennifer Porciello painstakingly plan every detail of their restaurant's decor, including the frescoes and dramatic arches, and their menu to give guests the impression that they've stumbled into a little corner of Italy. As musicians tap their feet on the hand-cut mosaic floors, servers float from table to table, delivering authentic Italian meals and housemade desserts.
According to Mario of Mario the Baker, his eateries are places where you regularly hear people say "I've been coming here since high school." That's because he's been serving up his pizzas and garlic rolls since 1969, including an eponymous pie topped with pepperoni, sausage, mushrooms, onions, and green peppers. His menu also hits the comfort food spot with oven-baked pasta dishes such as jumbo ravioli and cannelloni with cheese, meat, or spinach. In keeping with Italian traditions, meals end on a sweet note with classic desserts, including tiramisu and cannoli shaped like Italian flagpoles.
Barú Urbano takes the ingredients of island life—the colors, the music, and the laid-back vibe—and tosses them into a blender with the ingredients of urban life—the street art, the food, and the cocktails. The resulting concoction is a festival for the senses that still manages to offer a relaxing escape from everyday city living.
Barú Urbano's menu reflects this casual yet exciting spirit. Using urban comfort food as the basis for many dishes, chefs infuse bites with Latin and Caribbean flair, especially through signature dressings, sauces, and salsas. The spread also features ceviches, empanadas, and carnes, including one dish called the BARU parilla. Packed with enough food to feed three people or one body-building alligator, the BARU parilla is served on a sizzling skillet loaded with grilled steak, short ribs, and chorizo.
Each case of the munchies is unique. Luckily, The Munchies Grilll is more than prepared. Colombian, Mexican, Venezuelan, and Peruvian dishes all have a place here, from tacos to arepas stuffed with chicken, shredded beef, or cheese. Carne asada or grilled pork chops with rice, beans, and plantains are just a couple of the filling meal options. Less expected menu items include hot dogs loaded with crushed potato chips, mozzarella, and Munchies' sauces. Burgers, salads, and steak sandwiches are also available. For sugary cravings or particularly demanding sweet teeth, check out the Munchies Delight, composed of cake, vanilla ice cream, chocolate syrup, and whipped cream.