By Sally Deering
Â A restaurant with a big dance floor is as rare in Hudson as the Cake Boss making sushi.
You may want to get out your dancing shoes, tie on an appetite and head over to 57th Street in West New York where youâ€™ll find La Nueva Elegancia, a Cuban-Italian restaurant/supper club with two chefs in the kitchen with 50 years cooking experience; and a glorious dance floor where DJs spin hot tunes on weekends.
Owned by restaurateur Manuel Flores, La Nueva Elegancia is huge, seating 170 guests with dining areas on two sides of a large dance floor; a bar the length of the dining room; and a storefront area with a smaller bar and pool table. With dining room tables dressed in deep burgundy tablecloths and pale peach napkins to match the peach-colored walls, La Nueva Elegancia has an upbeat atmosphere and is open seven days a week for lunch and dinner
A place this big can take on parties of all sizes and Flores opened La Nueva Elegancia to cater to romantic dinners-for-two, family gatherings, and corporate meetings â€“there are two screens for PowerPoint presentations. The restaurant can easily cater engagement parties and wedding receptions, too. And on weekend nights starting at 9 pm, itâ€™s time to show some dance moves on the huge parquet dance floor under flashing disco lights that bring to mind SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER and other touchstones to the disco era.
Of course, the real star of La Nueva Elegancia is the menu featuring a marriage of Cuban and Italian cuisine by Chefs Jose I. Martinez and Eber Hernandez.
Everything is fresh, Flores says, from the vegetables in the salad to the mozzarella lavishly melted atop the shrimp and chicken for the Camarones Parmesan. Â The clams and calamari in the Seafood Soup are also fresh from the local market.
â€œNo fake stuff,â€ Flores says. â€œThatâ€™s why itâ€™s so good.â€
La Nueva Eleganciaâ€™s Apertivos/Appetizers include Ceviche de Camarones (Shrimp Ceviche); Camarones a la Ajillo (Shrimp in Garlic Sauce); Chicharrones de Cerdo (Pork Chicharrones); Sopa de Marisco (Seafood Soup); Sopa de Pollo (Chicken Soup); Camarones en Aguacate (Shrimp with Avocado); Ensalada A La Nueva Elegancia (House Salad); Chicken Fingers, Mozzarella Sticks and Chicken Wings ($3.50-$12.95).
Entrees feature Carnes/Meats, Mariscos/Seafood and Aves/Chicken dishes. Meat dishes include Bistec Empanisado (Breaded Steak); Bistec de Pollo Empanisada (Breaded Chicken); Filet de Pargo Empanisado (Breaded Filet); Boliche (Pot Roast); Carne Guyisada (Beef Stew); Rabo Encendido (Oxtail in Sauce); Ropa Vieja (Shredded Beef in Red Sauce); and Masa de Cerdo Frito (Fried Pork Chunks) ($9.95-$14.95).
Seafood dishes include Camarones al Ajillo (Shrimp in Garlic Sauce), Camarones Enchilado (Shrimp in Red Sauce), Langosto Enchilada (Lobster in Red Sauce), and Paella Marinera Para (Mixed Seafood with Lobster, Chicken, Sausage, and Saffron Rice, priced for two people) ($14-$37).
Aves/Chicken dishes feature Camarones Parmesan (Chicken Parmesan, Shrimp Parmesan), Chicken Frances, Tilapia Frances, Tilapia Mariquiara, Pargo Frita (Whole Fried Red Snapper), Pollo Ajillo (Chicken in Garlic Sauce), Chicharron de Pollo (Chicken Chunks) and Mariscada Roja Para, for two people (Seafood Platter in Red Sauce) ($13.95-$35).
Carnes a La Parrilla (Grilled Meat Platter) serves two and features Mini Skirt Steak, Pork Chops, Chicken Breast, Argentine Sausage, Black Pudding, Beef Ribs and Sweetbreads ($37). Other parrilla/grilled dishes on the menu are Skirt Steak, T-Bone and Rib Eye ($17-$22); Bistec de Palomilla (Top Sirloin) Chuleta de Cerdo (Pork Chops) Pechuga de Pollo (Chicken Breast), and Mar y Tierra (Surf & Turf) ($11-$37).
On Friday nights, DJ Joshi503 plays Latin, Pop, House Music, Club Music, and Merengue â€“ the music depends on the Friday night guests, Flores says. At the bar, Sangrias and Margaritas are big sellers.
Overall, La Nueva Elegancia is the place to go when you want to put on your dancing shoes and boogie all night while dining on fresh and delicious Cuban-Italian cuisine. This is why Flores opened the restaurant, he says. He enjoys giving people a great night out.
â€œI love seeing people eating, dancing and enjoying themselves,â€ Flores says. â€œI like that environment. Iâ€™m here every day and close the restaurant almost every night. To see that dance floor filled with people having a good time is very satisfying.â€
If you go:
La Nueva Elegancia
West New York
Lunch 11 am-3 pm; Dinner 5-10 pm weekdays, and 5-11 pm weekends;
and drinks available at the bar â€˜til 2 am
Check out their website on Facebook.com/lanuevaelegancia