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Spanish in Manhattan. Barraca or somewhere else?

I'll be in New York for a brief visit at the end of December, and I currently have a reservation for Barraca (I'll be dining w/ my parents). There aren't a ton of reports on it, but we like the look of the menu—we're mainly looking for:

- Really good food
- Not ultra-trendy or loud, but it's fine for it to be lively. But a no-frills type place is equally good if the food is great.

We do tend to share dishes family style, though we're not necessarily looking for a tapas place (though not opposed to it either). I'd be curious about other Spanish options that are a better choice than Barraca, but probably around the same price point.

I'd also be interested in hearing about other interesting/exciting places, even if they are not specifically Spanish. On a previous visit, I tried Louro, and I really liked it. I think my parents would like something a little bit less experimental, but not drastically so (I think they would like Louro, but not as much as I did).

Other options I've read about:

Casa Pomona (mentioned here http://www.chow.com/food-news/142976/...

)

El Quinto Pino El Comedor (do they take reservations?) And is their new menu online anywhere?

Places on this Eater list: http://ny.eater.com/archives/2013/04/... -- these seem like they'd all be pretty traditional, and I might want to branch out from this a bit, but not drastically, if that makes sense. My parents and I do like the "lots of garlic and green sauces" classic Spanish spots, but I think it would be fun to try to branch away from that, at least somewhat.

Any help would be appreciated. Thanks in advance,

Dave MP

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  1. Casa Pomona is good but Andanada is better.
    http://www.andanada141.com

    1 Reply
    1. re: MrGrumpy

      So would you choose Andanada over Barraca?

    2. I'd call El Comedor to ask if they take reservations; if they don't, I'd try their sister restaurant Txikito instead.

      We usually end up at Tertulia, these days. It's nowhere near as busy or crowded as it used to be. The food is always excellent, particularly the daily specials.

      2 Replies
      1. re: kathryn

        i've always loved El Quinto Pino, but i was underwhelmed by their new spin on the place w/ El Comedor...early press made it seem like there was going to be a much fuller menu and diff vibe...as it is, they serve pretty much the same menu as before (menu is the same in both spaces), but w/ couple of my old favorites eliminated (cold shrimp w/ sweet vinegar; fava beans w/ ham), and with a few somewhat overpriced additions (i.e. main-course-like dishes served in very much tapas size portions)...i've only been back once since the El Comedor-zation, but i was a bit turned off...

        That said, there is still a lot of yummy food and both spaces are cute and i'll be back eventually...just a little underwhelmed by the reboot...

        1. re: Simon

          Thanks for your thoughts. Yeah, I sort of thought this from looking at the menu.

          I think it looks like a fun place, but maybe not right for this particular meal w my parents.

      2. The menu for el comedor:
        http://www.menupages.com/restaurants/...

        I also have really enjoyed tertulia and txikito.
        I love tia pol but its tiny and no res, probably not good for dinner with parents

        1 Reply
        1. re: Ttrockwood

          Updating this thread....
          We went to El Quinto Pino earlier tonight and as always I love this place..! The sangria is mild and not overly fruity-very easy to drink on a warm night. The entire menu from el comedor next door is available - i prefer the smaller cozy atmosphere of el quinto pino and we scored some great seats just before 8 on this monday night. Busy but not packed.
          The fried chickpeas are a must order for me, perfect snack with a drink. We ordered the pan amb tomate, bocadillo de calamares (a specialty of madrid), croquetas de jamon, lamb skewars, chickpea and spinach stew, gambas al ajillo, and a white gazpacho with more sangria. The region highlighted right now is galicia with several seafood focus choices.
          Everything was really delicious- the white gazpacho was a highlight. The only flaw is that for $9 you would expect more than two bites of lamb from the skewars on the slice of baguette, and at $14 the chickpea dish felt pricey, yet at $9 a glass the sangria feels like a deal.
          I skipped the spiked blended frozen horchata tonight, but i'll be back soon to have it!

        2. We like El Pote Midtown East.

          1. Having just had dinner at Andanada tonight, for the first time, I can say this should fit what you are looking for, and much better than Barraca. Aside from the fact that you could hear yourself, the food was creative and delicious, and the wine list superb (I recommend the La Casilla 2008). We will probably be making this a regular part of our restaurant rotation.

            1. We ended up going to Barraca, and overall I thought it was pretty good, but I probably wouldn't return.

              Ambiance and service were great. Just what I was looking for.

              Food was not that special. The kale dish w/ raisins and nuts was a bit one-dimensional. I could have cooked a better version easily at home. Chicken and chorizo croquettes were fine, but not memorable at all. A third tapas selection was lamb (not the version on the current online menu) and it was kind of bland. No punch to the sauces or flavors, no 'wow' factor.

              For paella, we had a split pan with two types: seafood and meat. Both were good but kind of boring. The meat one was very meaty, and was different than any paella I've tried before. Seafood was a bit tomato-heavy. We finished all of it, and enjoyed it, but it just wasn't that amazing.

              Sangria was good. We skipped dessert, and instead shared a sundae at Big Gay Ice Cream down the road.

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