We were fairly psyched when we saw the first signs of a new restaurant along Hawthorne’s sleepy strip in the fall. Indeed, Punta Cana Restaurant promised “Spanish & Portuguese food”–a nice variation from the red sauce and bar food available in Hawthorne.
The place opened a few days before Christmas, and I’m just not getting the sense that it’s booming as I bike by every day. Indeed, most days, I see the proprietors–a pair of affable Latinas–looking a bit bored inside. More often than not, there are no customers in there–at 6:30 p.m., no less.
We got takeout there once, over the Christmas break. I got the “Bonless” chicken with rice and beans; I may never get tired of English-as-a-second-language typos on menus, a pastime stoked across many years of visiting the curry joints and their malaprop-rich menus on 6th Street in the East Village.
The food was decent. The portions were huge; I had my bonless chicken for dinner, had it for lunch the next day, and even snuck a few bonless bits into the Hawthorne multiplex for a snack during Invictus a few days later.
The Missus wasn’t so wild about hers. She detected a shallow pool of oil in the bottom of her aluminum dish, which likely means we’ll never go back.
The main proprietor was sweet and said she lived a few doors down, and that her kid goes to Hawthorne Elementary School.
So let’s get out and support the newest culinary addition to Hawthorne Heights. They even serve breakfast. The food may not be Gramercy Tavern-level, but it’s better than that dirty comic book shop/deli that used to grace the main drag.