Lovin’ Latin at D’Canela, Amagansett

D’Canela offers Mexican and Latin cuisine in a small restaurant on the Main Road in Amagansett. D’Canela is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and also brunch on the weekends. You’ll find it’s fairly quiet at most times during the week, making it a good place to meet a business partner or have a romantic interlude. On weekends the place fills up, but you can usually find a table, unless it’s in the summer, then larger parties generally will have to wait, so call ahead.

The owner, Luis, is usually in the building and keeping things running smoothly. His staff is bilingual in English and Spanish, and nothing is lost in translation. The staff is friendly, kind, and attentive. They’re unobtrusive, letting you enjoy your meal, but within range should you need anything. The only thing I’ve ever become impatient with is getting the check on occasion. On the flip side, they never make me feel rushed.

The breakfast menu offers typical breakfast fare such as eggs, meat, home fries and toast, as well as Eggs Benedict, various omelettes, French toast, granola, Irish oatmeal, pancakes, and a salmon platter. On the Latin side, you have a choice of several dishes from breakfast burritos to breakfast quesadillas, to tamales and one of my favorites, huevos rancheros, to name a few.

The lunch menu offers some more authentic Latin dishes. For example, the posole soup is one of my favorites with mote (big, soft corn kernels), pork, avocado, onion, cilantro and a variety of mildly spicy seasonings to make a delicious broth to tie it all together. There’s also a very good black bean soup. For appetizers there’s guacamole with chips, nachos, enchiladas, and two of my favorites: tostones (flattened and fried unripe plantain) with guacamole and chicharron (crispy pork), and torttle rolls made of napa cabbage, avocado, black bean purée and jack cheese, made and cut to resemble sushi. Delicious. On the lighter side for an entrée they have a variety of salads, those with grilled chicken, a Cesar salad, a warm spinach salad and more. There are sandwiches and burgers and sides. You’re sure to find something you like. You can also ask for their dinner menu at lunch time and if it’s ready to go in the kitchen, you’re in for a treat.

The dinner menu has similar appetizers, salads and soups to the lunch menu with some interesting and equally delicious additions. The entrées, which are too many to list, all have a unique flavor and stand on their own. They’re not simply four combinations of four ingredients. You’re offered a strip steak with is very flavorful with just enough fat, not too much. You have your typical Latin fare such as burritos, chalupas, enchiladas, gorditas, fajitas, quesadillas, tacos, and tamales. But there are also dishes from Columbia, Mexico and Ecuador, like the bendeja paisa, carne asada, and churrasco, respectively. You will not leave the table hungry. There are three kinds of steak, two kinds of seafood, and a very American children’s menu.

D’Canela will give you good food at a decent price and decent service. I usually go when I want to get away from the hustle and bustle of busier restaurants. They have dancing Saturday nights and great mojitos! Give it a try for lunch or dinner. Breakfast is nothing over the top. I almost forgot to mention, they make a mild chicken curry that’s very good. I’m not sure if it’s on the menu, but ask for it. It’s generally served with their sautéed spinach which is done beautifully with garlic and oil. The stuffed poblano pepper with jack cheese is one of my favorites. I can never finish the carne asada, but it’s worth a shot. Go with several people and eat family style to taste as many dishes as possible. You can’t go wrong. And if you care to, ask for the owner, Luis, he is affable and will remember you.

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