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May 1, 2005 01:03 AM

Somebody settle the tapas debate

  • b

I am visiting NY and would like to eat at the restaraunt that serves the best tapas. Every time I think I've read the definitive word, the place I've settled upon gets bashed for poor food, over-pricing, or lousy service. I want to stay south of downtown if I can. Alta, El Cid, Tia Pol, Casa Mono... Somebody whose made the rounds, please tell me where to go!!

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  1. Let's face it, it's finger food! Expensive finger food! Debate settled. :)

    4 Replies
    1. re: Jake

      Agreed. Tapas are the biggest ripoff on the planet--low quality high prices. Try some real food at maybe Seville.

      1. re: Jim

        The tapas meal doesn't make sense here any more than the wine bar does.

        But they're both wildly popular.

        The very idea of tapas is CHEAP savory dishes to be enjoyed with a glass of wine or beer.

        A wine bar in Europe serves small pours of inexpensive wines, typically local varieties, sometimes to be enjoyed with a light snack.

        A glass of wine and a tapa-type dish in Italy or Spain usually costs me under 6 Euro ($8?).

        I can't get out of, say, Tia Pol for under $20.
        And that's when I can get in!

        To answer the original poster's question, I Like La Nacional.

      2. re: Jake

        Tapas may be 'expensive finger food' in your opinion but that's because that's how tapas evolved in the States from their original humble beginnings in Spain. One could also say that dim sum is expensive finger/chopstick food but people love dim sum anyway.

        To get back on track to the OP's query, I really like the tapas at El Cid. It's not the trendiest of places but it is authentic for Manhattan and everything I've had is delicious. The grilled sardines are excellent.

        1. re: Flynn

          Except that dim sum is decidedly inexpensive, except at Chinatown Brasserie. You can pig out at Harmony Palace for $13.

      3. Tia Pol or Casa Mono.

        1. I had a good and pleasant dinner at Alta last week. It's not really a tapas place, although their menu goes that way. Tia Pol is better foodwise (but not by that much), and if you hate crowds, go to Alta.

          1. Not too many places south of downtown - save for Staten Island! ;)

            1 Reply
            1. re: Lambretta76

              Sorry. I meant south of midtown.

            2. The four of us went to Alta about a month ago when we came to NYC. The cheque including a generous tip and tax came to 60 a person. The girls had three glasses of wine each and the guys three beer. The food was absolutely great and we had a lot of it. I loved the silver skin angovies served on boiled egg and guacamole. it reminded me of Barcelona. The dishes are designed to share so an 8 dollar dish becomes a 2 dollar per person snack. you pay a lot more for chicken wings these days. I am back in town in July and I am definitely eating at Alta again. Cheers, eurojac from The Hague