Her Name Was Carmen, one of NYC’s newest dining hotspots, serves up the very best of Latin cuisine with an exuberant social scene to match.
Co-founders and hospitality veterans Thatcher Schultz and Andres Diaz are collectively celebrating the first anniversary of their successful joint venture, Her Name Was Carmen. Recognizing a substantial void in Latin American cuisine, Her Name Was Carmen was born. “Her Name Was Carmen isn’t married to a particular country, instead it expresses the very best of Latin culture and cuisine,” they say. The upscale, two-story venue located on Broome Street in the heart of West Soho marries together an outstanding culinary experience with an exuberant social scene. The design of the space, done by Maurizio Bianchi, created an authentic Latin American experience for guests beyond just dining. The versatility of the menu speaks volumes through dishes such as Sea Bream Crudo and Beet Salad, which are prepared with fresh ingredients and are further enhanced with flavorsome sauces.
“Each dish is created with a Latin soul, but perfected with a French technique,” says Peruvian Chef Omar Ben-Hammou when discussing his unique style of cooking. The extensive wine programme at Carmen is yet another pillar of success, managed by Sommelier Yuval Bar-khoba who holds an innate passion for what he does. A great deal of time is invested into the menu, as all wines are subject to a rigorous tasting session prior to selection, resulting in only premium wines being served by the glass. To complement the seafood-based menu, the wine list features an exceptional choice of wines created by talented wine-makers from oceanic regions such as Mallorca, Sierras de Malaga, Galicia, and Uruguay, among others. The restaurant hosts bi-monthly Wine Wednesday evenings, where guests can converse, sip on a hand-picked selection of wine under the guidance of Bar-Khoba, and enjoy live music.
The introduction of modernism in Latin America was the inspiration behind the restaurant’s decor. Both floors incorporate tropical and muted tones like deep blues and dusty pinks. Vivacious paintings by Simon Vargas bring nature and a modern feel, as his artistic focus ranges from cultural awareness to anthropological exploration and environmental sustainability. The graphic expressions, various finishes and rambunctious decor is timeless, and intertwined with the Latin ambiance, it has been and will continue to be, the life and soul of West Soho. Parallel to the elegance of the dining area, the downstairs dancefloor welcomes guests with music-led evenings including tropical infused disco, Latin club sounds, deep-house and afro-beat. Through their consistency, authenticity, and the exceptional standard upon which their food and cocktails are created, Her Name Was Carmen, through its passion & creativity, proves that Latin culture is very much alive and well in West Soho.
Words by Kara Studzinski