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Wasn't wowed by Flor de Sol, need suggestions for next tapas outing

s
Souper May 8, 2007 11:44 PM

Got a chance to dine at Flor de Sol for dinner last night, and since there aren't many recent threads about it I'd thought I'd share my experience. My girlfriend and I were greeted with the same service that I unfurtunately sometimes recieve being a college guy dressed in jeans etc., with a high school aged female companion. That is to say, the waiter seemed to over exaggerate all of his waiterly duties and actions which made the whole thing seem at best creepy, and at worst condescending. Being 19 and not in the mood to test my server, we declined drinks (sangria, too), and service become slightly more curt within the starting moments of the meal. That said, it was all about the food, which was an $85(no drink, dessert, mains, coffee or tip)series of hits and misses, and I was only wowed by the grilled calamari with lemon , garlic and olive oil - perfectly done in my opinion. The small, chinese take-out-lo-mein sized garlic shrimp lacked any flavor at all, and at ~$13, hurts when i think about it. The 5 clams in garlic sauce shared the same lack of flavor as the shrimp, and the only things I didn't fully regret ordering were the ham croquettes, olives and Meat plate, and of course the grilled squid. Surely there is better to be had for $100... or less.

Anyway, that brings me to: What tapas places(midtown and below) would I enjoy going to, keeping in mind that killer sangria is not gonna sell the spot for me.

My to-go list includes: Las Ramblas and Tia Pol in that order. Anything else I should look at?

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  1. j
    JeremyEG May 8, 2007 11:51 PM

    Thanks for your write-up. I have heard good things about la Boqueria but I haven't yet been. It's always too crowded. Good luck!
    Jeremy

    1 Reply
    1. re: JeremyEG
      f
      foodgirlnyc May 10, 2007 01:03 PM

      Boqueria is great! And Alta is one of my absolute favorites.
      Stacey

    2. b
      billyboy May 9, 2007 01:59 AM

      Have you tried Salud Restaurant and Bar on Beekman Street? It's just a block up from where the Fulton Fish market used to be. My girlfriend and I go there a lot and we've always loved it! The sangria is really good and the tapas plates are very tasty. Anything with plantains, shrimp or lobster is very good. they also have a prix fixe menu and entrees. Their website is under construction, but I found their menu from a google search of "salud nyc" and found them on menupages. Hope you like it.

      P.S.-right across the street from salud is an old school red sauce Italian place called Carmine's. No relation to the one uptown. They've been around since 1905 and make some killer lasagna and lobster fra diavolo. many of the regulars have been eating there 20-30 yrs.

      1. e
        ericat May 9, 2007 08:39 AM

        No new suggestions, but I really liked Boqueria, Tia Pol, Las Ramblas, in that approximate order, all which I went to in recent months, party of two, on weekdays. The wait for Tia Pol was the longest, over an hour. There wasn't a wait at Las Ramblas, and Boqueria was about 15 mins of a wait. Las Ramblas was probably the least expensive. As for other places, I think Flor de Sol, Alta, Pipa, Xunta, Sala are ok, but not my favorite. I've been looking forward to trying Tasca.

        1. wleatherette May 9, 2007 02:13 PM

          we had a delicious meal at boqueria a few weeks ago. the bill was much more reasonable than i would have predicted, and the service as well as the food was impressive. standouts for me were the jamon, the suckling pig croquettes, the stuffed dates, and the squid salad. not the place for a quite, romantic meal, though - the noise level is high and you're practically in your neighbor's lap.

          1. jmo9 May 9, 2007 02:18 PM

            Definitely try Mercatdito in the East Village. We went there for the first time last week and it was great. Tiny (space), but tasty (food). There's a small front room, by a smaller bar, but out back and downstairs there's more room and lots of ambiance. Plus the food is really yummy. Great margs too.

            1. a_and_w May 9, 2007 03:36 PM

              Definitely Alta.

              1. b
                brownie May 10, 2007 10:35 AM

                I'd chime in for Las Ramblas and Boqueria. The former has a great octopus salad (pulpo) and a great tortilla espanola. I didn't like the pulpo as much at Boqueria, nor, in fact, the tortilla. However, part of why I love Las Ramblas is that the servers (the ones I have met) are Spanish and seem to really understand what they're serving and how a tapas bar should work. boqueria, otoh, looks exactly like a couple of my favorite tapas spots in Madrid, so if for nothing else, i really liked it. The little charred peppers are great there! We also had the dates, mentioned below, quite yummy! But, when we went, the service was pretty spacy. Not so at Las Ramblas. Still, I'd vote for Las Ramblas, mostly b/c i'm obsessed with pulpo and theirs is great. Also, when it's warm, you can sit in the window or even at a little bar table outside, which is fun!
                The food at Alta was good, but it wasn't really very tapas-y. Well, it's not a tapas bar, really, more of a restaurant serving tapas style food.

                1. j
                  jdream May 10, 2007 12:18 PM

                  Casa Mono, hands down. Be willing to be a little adventurous-- it pays off. In particular the razor clams and duck egg are amazing. A little pricey, but if you aren't drinking it should be ok. Also, their creme Catalan is incredible.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: jdream
                    MMRuth May 10, 2007 12:26 PM

                    And if you are drinking, they have a truly fantastic Spanish wine list. I love Casa Mono - have posted about some of my favorite dishes in the past - but I don't think I've had anything there that I didn't like.

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