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Dinner in Washington Heights

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versicle May 4, 2011 11:53 AM

We're attending a show at the United Palace Theatre later this month and I'm looking for dinner suggestions. All I'm really seeing on the board is El Malecon, the Dominican place. I get a fair amount of Dominican food from the deli across the street from my workplace, so I'm not too excited by this option, no matter how good it is. Are there other places people would recommend?

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El Malecon
4141 Broadway, New York, NY 10033

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  1. m
    michelleats RE: versicle May 4, 2011 06:27 PM

    Sorry you're not getting many replies. Unfortunately, coverage on this board is a bit thin for those parts. My friends have recommended a relatively new Spanish place called Manolo Tapas to me, though I can't personally vouch for it. It's cash only.

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    Manolo Tapas
    4165 Broadway, New York, NY 10033

    4 Replies
    1. re: michelleats
      v
      versicle RE: michelleats May 5, 2011 07:26 AM

      Manolo Tapas has an interesting menu. Maybe we'll check that out. I'll be sure to report back. Surprised there's not more on the board for this neighborhood. A shame.

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      Manolo Tapas
      4165 Broadway, New York, NY 10033

      1. re: versicle
        m
        michelleats RE: versicle May 5, 2011 10:20 AM

        It *would* be wonderful if you posted a review of wherever you decided to go. The neighborhood really isn't dead in terms of good food. (A lot of it does happen to be Puerto Rican or Cuban.)

        Maybe also check out Yelp for the area. There are more reviews for restaurants than there are here, including the ones lyngo mentions.

        1. re: michelleats
          v
          versicle RE: michelleats May 19, 2011 10:23 AM

          We showed up at Manolo Tapas an hour and a half before showtime at the United Palace down the road. They were already full, so if you're going to go on a show night, definitely make a reservation. They were kind enough to open up the little basement dining room, though, and it quickly filled up.

          The space is very pretty, very typical of Spanish restaurants. Their web site says that a lot of the materials used in the construction were salvaged from Spain. The people who were running the restaurant, including the waiters and the runners, were also very nice.

          We ordered five tapas dishes and an unusual bottle of Txakolina-style hard cider. (Their wine list is extensive and very reasonable.) I'm not sure whether they had run out of buckets or what, but the waiter took our bottle back upstairs to sit on ice after he'd poured our first glasses. Eventually we had to ask one of the runners to fetch it and leave it on the table.

          We started off with the chipirones en su tinta, which is squid in their own ink; an order of pan Catalonian (pa amb tomaquet in Catalonia; usually pan con tomate in the rest of Spain), which is toasted bread rubbed with garlic and spread with tomato pulp and in this case included Serrano ham; and roasted bone marrow with toast, more of the tomato pulp, and a watercress salad. It was all fantastic, especially the squid. My only quibble here was that they'd made a sort of paste / spread of tomatoes and garlic, rather than just squeezing the pulp onto the garlic-rubbed bread, and the paste was too sweet for my taste. The squid was perfect, and the bone marrow was dramatically presented and also really good.

          Unfortunately, I can't comment on the octopus dish we ordered or the stuffed piquillo peppers because we waited about 25 minutes after our three first dishes came out, finished our bottle of cider, and finally had to just ask for the check. I was very sorry to leave hungry because the food we did have was fantastic.

          I don't want to fault them too much, because they did get totally slammed by the concert crowd. I know this is a fairly new venue; they should check the calendar and better prepare for concert nights. As accommodating as they were about opening up the extra room, they clearly weren't equipped to handle the extra business and it probably would have been better to turn people away.

          Bottomline: if you live in this neighborhood, definitely give them a try. They're super friendly, the ingredients are high quality, the space is nice, and the food authentically Spanish. If you're going up to Washington Heights for a show, though, maybe give them some time to work out how they're going to handle those nights.

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          Manolo Tapas
          4165 Broadway, New York, NY 10033

          1. re: versicle
            m
            michelleats RE: versicle May 19, 2011 10:56 AM

            *wonderful* review, versicle. thanks a whole bunch for reporting back.

    2. l
      lyngo RE: versicle May 5, 2011 03:46 AM

      Tamaya has very good sushi, Columbia Social has an interesting menu. Antika is a new Italian place with a nice atmosphere and traditional menu.

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      Tamaya
      4030 Broadway, New York, NY 10032

      Columbia Social
      4009 Broadway, New York, NY 10032

      Antika
      3924 Broadway, New York, NY 10032

      1 Reply
      1. re: lyngo
        m
        michelleats RE: lyngo May 5, 2011 10:29 AM

        Columbia Social does have an interesting menu. Definitely covers a lot of ground, geographically!

        http://www.columbiasocialcafe.com/men...

      2. j
        JimfromNewOrleans RE: versicle Nov 10, 2011 07:12 AM

        I've been very impressed with Columbia Social.

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        Columbia Social
        4009 Broadway, New York, NY 10032

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