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Time for one more 'Spanish' luncheon - Casa Momo or Aldea??!!

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Dear chowfriends,
For my upcoming short 'chow trip' to NYC, I managed to tweak my itinerary to add an additional lunch before heading to the airport. I was thinking of something not readily available in Toronto. Spanish comes to mind. Question? Casa Momo or Aldea?? Both Michelin 1*. Chef Mendes of Aldea has quite an impressive resume though??!!

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  1. It is casa MONO, btw. Aldea is not "spanish" but portuguese. If that is OK, it is quite good.

    There have been many recent posts about tapas-centric Spanish.

    Top spots include:
    Tertulia - newest of them all
    Txikito and El Quinto Pino - same owners

    You can do a search for them and see recent opinions.

    Casa Mono
    52 Irving Place, New York, NY 10003

    El Quinto Pino
    401 W 24th St, New York, NY 10011

    53 W 19th St, New York, NY 10011

    240 9th Ave, New York, NY 10001

    31 West 17th Street, New York, NY 10011

    359 6th Ave, New York, NY 10011

    1. Two totally difference places. Comparing each as 1 Michelin star doesn't really make sense IMO.

      Rustic, Spanish-inspired raciones (larger than tapas), served family style at Casa Mono with an open kitchen, and crowded dining room.

      Refined, upscale dining with Portuguese influences at Aldea, in a much more comfortable environment.

      Casa Mono
      52 Irving Place, New York, NY 10003

      31 West 17th Street, New York, NY 10011

      1. what type of restaurant do you want? Casa Mono is crowded, casual,good tapas like ( larger than tapas) dishes ,where you will leave smelling from the food, due to the open kitchen. But the dishes are really good, Or something more upscale comfortable dining?

        1 Reply
        1. re: foodwhisperer

          Decor, ambience, atmosphere all irrelevant! Just wanted some great tasting 'Iberian' food not that common in Toronto.

        2. You can't go wrong with either.

          My meal at Aldea was so good I'm scared to go back and have a lesser experience.

          Casa Mono is always memorable, and has some standout dishes.

          For your circumstance - (1) lunch (2) possibly rushed circumstances due to travel - I'd recommend Casa Mono since you'll get to try more dishes and it strikes me as more of lunch place. If #2 isn't applicable and you're going to have a nice drawn out meal - I'd tend towards Aldea.

          You'll should be happy either way.

          1. Quality of food at Aldea is excellent - not quite in the same league as Chiado in Toronto, but you should not be disappointed. I haven't been to Casa Momo

            8 Replies
            1. re: DRD

              If Chiado's food is better than Aldea, then I'll settle for Casa Momo instead!
              Thanks everyone!!

              1. re: Charles Yu

                As mentioned earlier, it's Casa Mono -- one M, one N, two Os. MONO. Not MOMO.

                I have really enjoyed the Fideos with Chorizo and Clams there, as well as the Sweetbreads with Fennel al Mono, Duck Egg with Mojama, and Foie Gras with Cinco Cebollas.

                Have a great meal!

                Casa Mono
                52 Irving Place, New York, NY 10003

                1. re: Charles Yu

                  Chiado's dishes are heads and shoulders above Aldea. Aldea's claim-to-fame here of the Pato with Arroz is as close to a Chinese chicken fried rice with Duck chunks instead. We've always had close to excellent service at Aldea whenever we dined (I only paid once out of the 3 times), but the food never gave us enough reasons to want to go bakc on our own.

                  Chiado is more true-to-form Portuguese. Not as nouveau as Aldea, but definitely more satisfying and one of the better Portuguese fine dining that I've had here in North America. I've been to Chiado a few times over the years and I always look forward really good Portiuguese dining when in Toronto ... be it Chiado or any other somewhere in the Portuguese neighborhood along College Street west. Sadly, Portuguese dining here in NYC doesn't come close to the good, authentic stuff you have in TO.

                  If Casa Mono is your other choice, go there. Casa Mono is very good. No Spanish (Iberian) restaurant in TO comes close to ones that we have here in NYC. Added plus is, if you're into good wines, Casa Mono's range of Spanish wines is easily one of the best in North America.

                  1. re: RCC

                    Thanks RCC!!!

                    1. re: RCC

                      Tony De Caneca is the closest food to that what you get in Portugal. Many Portuguese people I know eat there and the clentele is almost all Portuguese. The bad news, it is in the Ironbound district of Newark. It's very authentic. Except, the grilled sardines in Portugal you won't find anything as good as that in North America.

                      1. re: foodwhisperer

                        I happen to like Casa Vasca much more than Tony de Caneca in Ironbound. Besides, the OP was choosing for restaurants in NYC. Although, I still maintain that the Portuquese restaurants in Toronto are way ahead, and more true Iberian Portuguese, than any of the ones here in NYC and Newark (in NJ, and OP's choices are all in NYC). Have you tried any of the ones in Toronto? Montreal?

                        1. re: RCC

                          Only ' Iberian/Mediterranean' restaurants I tried in Toronto are Chiado, Toritos, Cava and Embruo Flamenco
                          For my NYC additional luncheon, I'll be satisfied with some great tapas from Casa Mono. Hopefully some dishes will mirror those I had in San Sebastian, Barcelona and Majorca.

                          1. re: Charles Yu

                            Well, regarding where in Toronto and Montreal, I was actually asking the poster "foodwhisperer" who came up with the Newark suggestion.

                            Anyway, if dishes from SS and Barcelona is what you're looking for, then you'd be hard-pressed to find exact dishes that are similar to Arzak, Akelare, Mugaritz, Cuchara de San Telmo, Tickets, Cal Pep .. etc. in NYC. We do have some really good tapas places. While I like Casa Mono (not tapas, but raciones), I also like Tertulia, Txikito and Boqueria for good tapas. They come up with many gems and nuggets in their menu to make us go there often.