Sabor is a small and modern jewel on the dingy Essex Road in Islington. It's artfully-lit in ever-changing washes of bright colour, and has only the odd piece of brightly-painted wooden folk art on the walls. The food was fabulous: it was well-presented and all the flavours were well-balanced, despite practically every dish featuring tropical fruit.
We started with a platter of empanadas mixtas -- three traditional, deep-fried savoury pastries made from cornmeal dough and filled each with minced lamb, crab and plantain, and mushrooms, all served with fresh mint salsa.
One of our main dishes was pato con maracuya -- a deliciously juicy pan-roasted breast of duck with plantain/sweet potato/pecan nut mash and a sweet and tart passion fruit sauce. Another was a meaty coffee- and chilli-glazed red snapper with a sweet and sour tomato sauce and gallo pinto (black beans and brown rice) mash.
Somehow we found space for dessert: a moorish platter of mature manchego cheese, gorgonzola and guava jelly; and a heavenly-light papaya and whipped cream cheese terrine with mango sauce.
All this washed down with a pisco sour and a margarita de maracuya - Sabor's house cocktail of fresh passion fruit and lime juice blended with a white tequila, triple sec and passion fruit liqueur.
My only knowledge of Latin American food is of comfortingly stodgy stews and lots of meat, so the subtleties of the cuisine at Sabor was a very pleasant surprise.
We were so stuffed afterwards, we couldn't do anything else but go home. Which was lucky for me because I was just in time for Desperate Housewives!
Other links today:
+ How to get the perfect shave. For men.
+ Get slick. MeFi's comments on How to get the perfect shave
+ Utne online. Recent articles: a feminist Koran, the religious right, and a breast-feeding protest in Starbucks. Always thoughtful.