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Jun 28, 2008 04:11 AM

Is there any decent Spanish -not latin- food in NJ?

My dude an I went to Casa Mono (Batali's tapas joint near NYC union square) this week and, whilst reveling in the simple joys that good, authentic Spanish food can bring, we both wondered: Why can't we get this in NJ? We've been to the Ironbound district's most "lauded" (on CH and other boards) for distinctly medicore at best Spanish restaurants, and to Tapas de Espangna and found none of them are serving anything remotely near quality to the restaurants across the river (i.e Casa Mono, Boqueria). Does such a place exist in NJ or must we continue to make the trek to NY to find what truly eludes NJ?

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  1. Have you tried Segovia in Moonachie? Great food, large portions, fair prices for the food you get. It's a very popular restaurant with a good reputation. There are other Spanish restaurants in the area that are good too. I went to another Spanish restaurant in Moonachie near Segovia a few years ago, but I can't remember the name. It was also excellent.

    2 Replies
    1. re: zhelder

      I have not been to Segovia but, after perusing the menu, don't think it's what i'm looking for...not to bring it down without trying it first, it their menu seems like many of the Spanish rest. i've been to here...just as new jersey has it's own take on Italian food that's very different than the food you'd eat in Italy f(i.e. red sauce italian) I feel NJ also has go its own take on Spanish food. That said, while it may be decent, it's not anything akin to what one would it in Spain (or Portugal for that matter) ...

      1. re: sixelagogo

        Gallegos go to Casa Vasca in Newark but it's still not the same as what you get in the city.
        Might I suggest Marco and Pepe in Jersey City. They do have gezpacho on the menu and great sangria...has a euro vibe and you can get a small plate version of the entrees. It's not exclusively Spanish, though.

    2. My understanding is that it is a Tapas place, and I cannot think of a Tapas bar even in the Ironbound.

      I am not a fan of sweetbreads and other innards that seems to be the specialty of Casa Mono.

      I will second the Segovia recommendation though. I like that type (the seafoody spanish)

      2 Replies
      1. re: MelissaC1

        I forgot that is a fairly new place on Ferry St. in newark. Supposed to be pretty good. Another tapas place has openend up further east on Ferry not sure of the name.
        Mompou is a departure from the typical restaurants in downneck newark.

        1. re: Sandy Bollocks

          you must be referring to Vivo Tapas Lounge on Ferry Street. It has gotten some hype, but I can't speak to that as I have not been. They have a website from which you can check out the menu:

      2. We (2 couples) just came back from Segovia. We went there because we wanted a decent restaurant with decent prices. We found both. The selection was huge. The prices were fair and the portions were huge. Service was good especially considering the crowd that was there.

        1 Reply
        1. re: ajs42548

          Haven't been yet, but our company's holiday party is going to be at Tolima, in (of all places) Chatham. The owners of the firm are very serious about food and wine, and when I expressed my surprise that there are good tapas in Chatham (for those who don't know the town, you can't get any whiter imo), they said they were surprised as well. While they weren't wowed by the dinner they had there, they really think the tapas are good. Can't find a website for them, but here's basic info:

          641 Shunpike Road
          Chatham, NJ 07928
          Tel: 973-410-0700

          I also have a couple of friends who like Mompou in the Ironbound.

        2. Have you ever tried Sangria in Englewood.
          I haven't been there but some co workers have been raving about it.

          1. I can't say enough good things about Fornos of Spain on Ferry Street. BUT, stick with the "traditional" dishes. We've not found the specials as good. And don't skip the sangria.