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Nuela opened Monday (43 West 24th St. between 5th and 6th Avenue) serving up South American cuisine after literally years of anticipation from restaurant junkies and neighbors who walked passed by the long-standing Nuela sign.

For a first night, even without alcohol on the menu, the place was running very professionally both up front and out of the kitchen. They had their act together.

The Nuela menu runs from ceviches, to bocadillos, to larger platos, and the standouts were flavorful and fresh ceviches (the hamachi with sour orange, basil and garlic as well as the tuna with Thai influences were both very good) as well as the churrasco with chimichurri sauce and the brisket arepas bocadillo.

Pricing of the ceviches and bocadillos seems within reason but some of the platos seemed pricey (crab at $32) if the goal is to keep the place full every night. It’s just slightly out of reach to get the locals in on say, a Tuesday. It’s not that the food doesn’t deserve the prices, but there is a lot of competition in the area and I think pricing influences whether it’s a weekend and special occasions kind of place or one that locals will go to weekly. That being said, a non-traditional meal made of ceviches, empanadas and bocadillos and maybe a drink would more than please busy New Yorkers for a mid-week dinner.

But don’t leave it to an amateur blog writer, let’s see what Yelpers say.

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