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Ecuadorian Owner of Mexican Restaurants Opens BYOB Italian in Hamilton Heights

Ecuadorian Owner of Mexican Restaurants Opens BYOB Italian in Hamilton Heights

Photo: Daniel Maurer

We were kind of surprised to see a relatively fancy newcomer open last Friday along a stretch of Broadway, in Hamilton Heights, that’s one of the most heavily concentrated Kentucky/Crown Fried Chicken areas in town. Actually, the owner, Angel Tenesaca, is Ecuadorian, and owns two Mexican restaurants nearby (El Toro Partido and Picante Bar & Lounge). Ain’t that America! So why open a restaurant serving what he calls “renovated Italian” cuisine? “The neighborhood is dramatically changing,” says Tenesaca. “There are a lot of American people and students coming, and the neighborhood needs something different. Right now it’s only a choice of Latin food.” Tenesaca says he’s confident in his Italian, since his chef, Alfredo Tenesaca (who actually isn’t related to him by blood but grew up in the same town), cooked in kitchens such as Astoria’s Locale. But just for good measure, you’ll also find an Ecuadorian-style seviche on the menu (the shrimp are boiled in red onions and cilantro just a bit, then the broth is combined with ketchup and Tabasco and served with the shrimp). Right now the restaurant is BYOB, and open from 11 a.m. till 11 p.m. (and till midnight on Fridays and Saturdays). As for its best dish, Tenesaca reckons it’s (what else?) the burger. Another image and the menu below.

Main Course
Tonalli 10 oz Burger - $10
Black Angus Shell Steak - $18
Grilled Cornish Hen - $15
Pan Roasted Mediterranean Salmon - $15
Combination Scallops & Shrimp - $15
Seasoned Chicken Pallar - $11
Seared Tilapia - $14
Mediterranean Shrimp - $15
Braised Lamb Chops - $18

Hot
Maryland Crab Cakes - $9
Calamari Fritti on Fradiabla Sauce - $7
Portobello Mushrooms - $9
Crab Meat Avocado Dumplings - $10
Platter of Warm Grilled Vegetables - $8
Shrimp Ceviche Ecuadorian Style - $11

Homemade Pasta
Ravioli - $9
Fettuccini - $11
Lobster Ravioli - $11
Angel Hair - $9
Penne alla Vodka - $9

Soups
Pasta Fagioli - $4
Soup of the Day - $4

Salads
Caesar Salad - $6
Tonalli Salad - $7
Tropicale Salad - $8
Formaggi and Fruit - $9
Baby Arugula - $7
House Salad - $9
Jamon Serrano - $8

Brunch
Classic French Toast - $8
Belgian Waffles - $7
Buttermilk Pancakes - $7
Fruit Crepes - $8
Classic Caesar Salad - $8
Tonalli 10 oz. Burger - $10
Open Face Omelette - $8
Steak & Eggs - $10
Fluffy Scrambled Eggs - $6
Eggs Florentine - $7
Bacon Benedict - $7
Veggie Omelette - $7
Spinach Omelette - $7
Western Omelette - $6

Tonalli Café & Bar, 3628 Broadway, nr. 150th St.; 212-926-0399

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