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Spanish Tapas

a
aschaffe Jul 18, 2006 04:41 PM

Any one have suggestions of great Spanish tapas places (other than Flor De Sol)?

  1. c
    Captain Jul 19, 2006 01:13 PM

    My wife and I prefer the tapas at Pintxos (westside of Greenwich, block north of Canal) over anything else we have had in the city. It's Basque, but differs only slightly from disshes I've had at other tapas places (Spanish ones) in NYC. It's a small restaurant, can get a bit cramped and only has a few people working there.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Captain
      k
      kenito799 Jul 20, 2006 02:11 PM

      We ate at Pintxos last night. We were in Madrid and Barcelona last month and have been craving tapas; so our standards are high. We went to Tia Pol before we left and it is indeed excellent; it will be interesting to return and see if being in Spain has changed our impression in any way but I doubt it. Tia Pol gets pricey fast though so we want to try some other spots.

      Let me first get the whining out of the way about how much you have to pay for wine in restaurants in the US. It was so nice to sample several different glasses (or bottles) in Spain without your bill doubling or tripling. OK, in the US restaurants structure pricing differently and it benefits people who don't drink, so good for them. In the end eating out in Manhattan is just plain more expensive than even in the high-price cities in Spain.

      Pintxos is on a nice corner that is quiet in the evening, one of a cluster of tapas places (Pao, and another Zana or Rana or something) so you could conceivably do a crawl right there. The staff were very friendly.

      We tried the house red Rioja ($25 bottle) and one older Rioja, neither remarkable but fine. It is nice that they sell all their wines by the bottle or 1/2 liter (at a pro-rated price), which makes tasting quite flexible. I hope they turn them all over fast enough. We didn't get Txacoli although it's great for this hot weather; $36 is a lot to pay, I think, for wine that I find to be pretty similar to vinho verde.

      The food was good. Olives excellent, lemony with some onions, pieces of peppers, and a big caper marinating with them. Boquerones delicious (5 little guys really made us miss the huge plates we got in Spain). Chorizo riojano was very good, the don't-miss item at this place, on par with anything we had in Spain. I have had better patatas bravas in NY but the sauce was nice and spicy. Gulas (fake baby eels) were nicely garlicky. The solomillo (filet mignon) with red roasted piquillo peppers was an entree portion ($22) which we split, very nice, came with a buttery stack of thinly sliced potatoes.

      All in all, not bad, I would recommend it for a stop on a tapas crawl for a 1/2 L of wine, olives, boquerones and that delicious chorizo, which would be less than $40 total.

    2. m
      max Jul 18, 2006 09:11 PM

      El Cid on 15th street is my favorite Spanish resturant in NYC. Great tapas and a great authentic atmosphere.

      1 Reply
      1. re: max
        j
        jeanki Jul 18, 2006 11:48 PM

        I did not enjoy the food here; too many off, stale flavors and the decor is too campy.

      2. j
        jasmine Jul 18, 2006 08:43 PM

        I agree with mrnyc - I love Las Ramblas. The food is great (try the wild mushrooms!) and the people who work there are lovely.

        1. m
          mrnyc Jul 18, 2006 06:57 PM

          we recently went to the new tapas place in the village called LAS RAMBLAS on w4th (near cornelia). we enjoyed it a great deal. i plan to spend more time there before fall.

          1. t
            tristanbul Jul 18, 2006 06:51 PM

            Bar Carrera on 2nd Avenue between 11th and 12th (West side of Avenue) also has very good tapas, albeit a smaller menu and space than Tia Pol. The morcilla bocadillos is excellent as is the shrimp skewer with quail egg, green olive and paprika. Their wine selection is very nice, the AN/2 from Mallorca was a great recommend from the bar tender. The only unusual thing is that bread has to be ordered. This would never be in Spain. Tia Pol is excellent, Bar Carrera is very good. Casa Mono = too expensive, too much attitude, much less than impressive tapas.

            3 Replies
            1. re: tristanbul
              MMRuth Jul 18, 2006 08:27 PM

              I agree that Casa Mono is expensive, but I've been there many times and have never experienced any "attitude". Also, they have an INCREDIBLE wine list (Spanish wines).

              1. re: MMRuth
                s
                steve h Jul 19, 2006 02:29 AM

                i'll second the wine list. attitude at casa mono? not in my experience.

              2. re: tristanbul
                Ali B Jul 18, 2006 10:19 PM

                Bar Carrera is great. If you get dessert, you have to try the strawberries and fresh cream on mini brioche. Sometimes I go there just for that and a glass of wine or sherry.

              3. MMRuth Jul 18, 2006 05:23 PM

                Casa Mono.

                1. l
                  livetoeat Jul 18, 2006 05:07 PM

                  Tia Pol on 10th Avenue. Hands down the best tapas in NYC. Great food, great wine and sangria, fun atmosphere. We went there for my birthday with 10 friends and ordered everything on the menu and not one thing was un-incredible, which is quite a feat. Only downside is that it's tiny and they don't take reservations - with the exception of if you have a party of 5 or more, and then they only have two seatings a night.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: livetoeat
                    k
                    kvn Jul 18, 2006 05:27 PM

                    I agree 100%. Tia Pol is the only decent tapas in Manhattan.
                    http://www.tiapol.com/
                    I don not understand why it is so hard to find authentic Spanish food in NYC,
                    but it is. Barrio Chino is pretty good, but not consistent.
                    http://www.barriochinonyc.com/
                    Flor De Sol is not strictly Spanish, lots of Italian ideas going on, and "modern interpetations" as well. Not bad, but not really a tapas spot, more a "modern spanish restaurant"

                    1. re: livetoeat
                      r
                      RCC Jul 18, 2006 10:42 PM

                      I'm for Tia Pol.

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