Droolworthy: Pastelon at the nook

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Pastelon

Pastelon

the nook neighborhood bistro

Caribbean food is almost completely new to me. I’ve indulged in the harmonious marriage of pork and cheese in a pressed Cubano and savored the distinct spice of Jamaican jerk chicken made in a steel drum. But until recently, I had yet to try something distinctly Dominican. Pastelon is the Caribbean’s answer to Italy’s lasagne, where mashed (or fried) sweet plantains take the place of pasta sheets.

Meat, cheese and plantains? Count me in!

A Dominican friend from New York recently told me that the nook neighborhood bistro serves pastelon ($18), her absolute favorite childhood dish. It’s only on their dinner menu: a bubbling vat of ooey gooey fontina cheese over a satisfying sweet-savory Big Island beef ragu with raisins and olives, and mashed plantains.

Pastelon

Served with a side of fried plantain chips for dipping if you dare.

Nook fills the dish with smashed chunks of delicious plantain, which makes me very happy, because it is conspicuously missing from many menus across town. Can we get more platanos up in here, please?!

the nook
Puck’s Alley
1035 University Ave
942-2222
www.thenookhonolulu.com