2510 Rte. 44
Salt Point, NY 12578
Patrons start to imbibe its festive ambiance as soon as they enter La Puerta Azul. Admire the indoor waterfall, and cross a bridge spanning a pond that leads to the dining area. Translated from Spanish as “the blue door,” the restaurant — it opened in 2006 — features colorful, award-winning décor, with authentic south-of-the-border touches like metal chandeliers, railings, lamps, and other interior ironwork; it was all created by Millbrook-based Arrowsmith Forge. Eye-catching oil paintings by Mexican artist Abelardo Favela grace the walls, too. But it’s the food, of course, that really counts. Chef Nicole Mummolo is a 2010 Culinary Institute of America grad whose kitchen whips up specialties ranging from Sweet Corn Soup to Carne Asada (grilled skirt steak over spicy morita chile sauce with sweet corn rice, caramelized onions and green beans) and Camarones al Pastor (seared tiger shrimp with pickled onions and pineapple in chili-accented sauce, served over tomato rice, finished with a rosemary sauce). A staff member notes that these two favorites are among the restaurant’s signature dishes, “along with our guacamole that’s fresh-made, tableside,” she says. Ever had coconut-almond flan for dessert? You can, here. Diners also rave about the restaurant’s tequila temptations — more than 30 variations; plus there’s a lively beer and wine selection. Enjoy a side order of live music Friday and Saturday, and check out Saturday and Sunday brunch, too. Ole!