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which tapas?

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vacationing in NYC in late March/early April. would like to try a tapas restaurant or 2. I have compiled the following list from reading the Manhattan CH board. For the moment, I've selected Alta and La National from the following list of choices. Would you steer me differently (food quality and/or ambience preference)? I'm staying on 46th near 9th Ave, but will be all over Manhattan sight seeing/museums/jazz/opera. If you can tell me what neighborhood your fav's are located in, that would help. Also, we will want beer/wine option for dinner. If we go for lunch, alcohol not needed. Do they take reservations? budget: $30ish lunch, $100 dinner (for 2). The list I'm working from is as follows: Tia Pol, Alta, Casa Mono, Suba, Pipa, Boqueria, La Nacional, Les........Thanks.

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  1. pipa is a favorite of mine for tapas...I would also try el quinto pino for tapas 24th & 9th).
    Im not sure if your beer/wine option for dinner is tapas required, but if not, I would try felice on 64th and 1st (fine for brunch, resies not needed). Accademia di vino is another fantastic wine/italian restaurant. 63rd and 3rd.
    If you do require a small plate venue for dinner, fig and olive is perfect....Lex between 62nd and 63rd OR 13th between 9th & Washington

    1. Tia Pol is the best in the city of all those listed. Just know they only take reservations over 6 and the waits can be long so grab a glass of sangria. Tia Pol is in Chelsea, 23rd and 10th

      My tops are Tia Pol, Boqueria, Casa Mono, Alta, Suba. I'd also throw in El Quinto Pino, recently opened on 24th and 9th, very small, but very good.

      1. We're tapas junkies. While I have not been to Alta, we were recently at La Nacional and I have to admit that their tapas, while decent, are not creative when compared to the others that we go back to more often. If you are into what I would consider the basic tapas like jamon and chorizo cuts, shrimps in garlic oil, etc, then La Nacional is OK.

        But if you want tapas beyond the basics, but without losing authenticity imho, then my top 3 is Tia Pol, Casa Mono and Boqueria. These places are creative with their delicious tapas. They are also a little more expensive, but $100 for 2 is very possible, but as you say, without the alcohol. I'll throw in Las Ramblas as a distant 4th.

        1. I like Tia Pol, El Quinto Pino (sister to Tia Pol), and Casa Mono. La Nacional is very good, but I don't think tapas are necessarily the specialty--paella and other dishes are.

          1. Xunta in the East Village is really fun, Flor de Sol in Tribeca is romantic - both have amazing tapas!