A Bronx Tale

From an impresario of New York nightlife, sexy food with a Latin flavor.

One of New York City's hottest clubs isn't in Manhattan--it's across the Harlem River, and it's called Jimmy's Bronx Café. At this vast Latino restaurant and nightclub, you can salsa and merengue alongside the world-champion New York Yankees. There's even a chance you'll spot Jennifer Lopez or Sean "Puffy" Combs, who have both made cameo experiences. The music blasts, the crowd swings and suddenly it's 5 a.m. and your friends are pulling you out the door.

But before you dance, you have dinner. The charismatic owner, Jimmy Rodriguez, a Bronx native of Puerto Rican descent, is as serious about his restaurant's food as he is about his nightclub's groove. His chef, Luis Rivera, prepares succulent baby-back ribs glazed with guava paste and garlic; an excellent classic paella with chicken, clams and chorizo; and an astounding variety of plantain dishes, including delectable fried plantains--all surprisingly quick to make. If you turn on some salsa music while you cook, the beat will get you going even faster.