Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Sign in to follow this  
yvonne johnson

Spanish food in Manhattan?

Recommended Posts

Just as I was thinking of going to Meigas, I see it has closed. I can’t seem to find decent Spanish food in Manhattan. El Cid does pretty good tapas, at least they did a while back. Last w/end went to Riazor, 245 W 16, and it was dull bordering on the unpleasant. The stripe stew had something going for it as unlike the other dishes it had flavor. Chorizo appetizer didn’t have that delicious depth of flavor that even supermarket chorizo has, the paella was mushy and underseasoned and when I asked my husband how his pork with potato salad was he answered by shrugging his shoulders, so I didn’t ask for a bite of that.

I’ve been to El Faro, and Spain….say no more. And why are these Spanish restaurants so grim looking? Do the owners think we expect the docor found in Goya's  paintings of witches to make believe we are in Spain?

So, where to go? Do I really have to leave Manhattan?

PS: Newark is on my list for Portuguese.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's very kind of you Jason. I am on occasion in Newark and I know people are saying that the city is experiencing a revival, but walking the streets at night (I'm not a car person and use public transportation) is scary. It's as though I'm the only person there. I usually get right home and am glad when that train gets into Manhattan Penn. But I must linger a little longer one day and sample the food.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Even an edible paella would be worth knowing about.   Every Spanish restaurant we have tried in New York (never got to Meigas either) had someone in the kitchen who couldn't cook rice: raw, mushy, distinctly microwaved, we've had them all.  About the best was at Bolo of all places, but heaped, of course, with inauthentic luxury ingredients like lobster tails.

So any ideas about a good paella, or tripe Madrid-style with chickpeas and chorizo - somewhere in the outer boroughs maybe?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like N~ on Crosby Street for tapas, but it has two bars, and only a couple of tables. It also tends to be smoke filled. The tapas are good though,a nd they have good mixed drinks, a sherry list, and a wine list.

I recently tried Pipa, but was not impressed.

I used to like the tapas at Meson Asturias, a Galician restaurant in Queens, but haven't been there in a year or so. I particularly remember the garlic shrimp. It is a restaurant with a small bar.


-Jason

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been to Meson Asturias, in Elmhurst Queens, a few times.  The last time was earlier this summmer.  Excellent blood sausage appetizer...Good food at good prices.  They used to have flamenco dancing on a small stage in the corner - I don't know if they still do but it was a nice part of the experience.  Paella was decent, but I've never had any paella here that compares to the ones I had in Spain (at almost any restaurant I went to).  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Perhaps unwisely, Meigas did not serve paella, hoping instead to introduce real Spanish food. Okay paella is real--sometimes, but it's also become the tritest dish in NY Spanish restaurants. There is some sous vide prepared paella that is being featured in a few Manahattan restaurants and ever advertised by the company that supplies it. The idea is unappealing. I was not a great fan of Meigas, but we returned several times. I am sorry to see it go. They also had a good Spanish wine list.

I was far less impressed by Pipa all around, but they had some good wines too. It's interesting that a Galician restaurant is named Meson Asturias as Asturia is the province just east of Galicia. There's a cute little place by the name of Pintxo on Greenwich Street just south of Spring. As one might expect it serves Basque food and features the option of pintxos--the Basque version of tapas. It's cute more than gastronomically noteworthy and every time we've been there (not often) it's sadly been almost empty. There's not enough there to draw me back often, and although small plates sound cheap, it all adds up before you finish eating. Spanish food is unheralded in NY and there may be no stellar examples. A lot of it depends on the ingredients. Perhaps it's not so surprising that it has few fans in the US. I was never able to get into it at all and much preferred France and French food. A few years ago that all changed for me and we've spend some time in the north from Catalunya through to Galicia and I'm eager to go back. There's an interesting mix of really rustic food and a few incredibly creative and fine chefs that seem to be leading a movement.


Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"There is some sous vide prepared paella that is being featured in a few Manahattan restaurants and ever advertised by the company that supplies it."  Yes, I've seen the Paellador sous vide paella advertised.  I haven't tried it, but have been tempted only because exactly the same is widely available in inexpensive restaurants in Spain.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've enjoyed Convivium Osteria in Park Slope, a (sort-of) new place serving Spanish & Portugese food with a couple of Italian dishes thrown in.  It's on 5th Avenue, I think around Bergen/St. Mark's.  It's very small and takes cash only.  I went there a couple of months after I'd been to Spain and the atmosphere brought me back.  I had grilled sardines, cod with potatoes, Manchego cheese with honey for dessert, and some nice fino sherry--heavenly!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for reminding me about Ñ, Jayask. I’ll try it.

I keep forgetting about Bolo too. I know many people think Flay is a pain in the neck, but I had a really good lunch there a few years ago.

Both Jayask and Bux weren’t impressed with Pipa (ABC building, 19 th Street). I’m interested as to why. I’ve been to Chicama (Rodriquez’s other restaurant round the block) once. Granted it was during a restaurant week, but the lunch was very uneven. Really surprising was the lackluster fried oysters, one of his signature dishes when he was at Patria. Maybe there was a great team at Patria a few years back when the kitchen sang. But is Rodriguez unable to recreate this elsewhere?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It wasn't that Pipa was bad. There was one dish I really didn't like, but everything else was good. It just wasn't good enough for an upscale restaurant, or one that charges what Pipa does. I was more inpressed with the food at N~. Too bad the lack of sufficient tables and smoke will keep me from frequenting N~.

In truth, I had heard a lot of people say that Pipa isn't that good, but I tried it anyway. That's what I get for being stubborn. :)

-Jayask

Quote: from yvonne johnson on 1:19 pm on Oct. 26, 2001

Thanks for reminding me about Ñ, Jayask. I’ll try it.

Both Jayask and Bux weren’t impressed with Pipa (ABC building, 19 th Street). I’m interested as to why.


-Jason

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yvonne, I used to like the seafood paella and shrimp ajillo at Sevilla on Charles and West 4th Street in the Village. The waiter used to tease me and say "After you eat our shrimp ajillo, you won't be able to kiss anyone for a few days." After a large pitcher of sangria, nobody seemed to care about the garlic and were kissy-kissy anyway.

I haven't been there for awhile so don't know how it presently is but they still have lines to get in on the weekends. If you haven't been there already, try it during the week.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I must say I was disappointed with Marichu.  It is theoretically a Basque restaurant, but I don't recall anything distinctively Basque about it.  Like so many restaurants, it was okay-ish.  We never went back.

If anyone has had great Spanish or Basque cooking there over the last year, it would be interesting to hear details.  I don't know if you can expand at all, wingding?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry, I never answered Yvonne's question. I can't really remember my one visit to Pipa, but few of the plates we ordered really pleased me and most seemed far inferior to versions I've had elsewhere, namely Meigas and Spain. Variations from the traditional were not improvements either, as I recall. I agree with Jayask, it was not bad, just not so great and I had the feeling it was not a great value. I do recall enjoying one wine. Memory fades on this too, but I think it was a Godello I have not seen elsewhere.

I've yet to understand the fuss about Rodriguez' cooking, although I've not met a ceviche I didn't like including all I tasted at Chicama.


Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Similar Content

    • By thecuriousone
      Hi All-
      I tried a recipe out of The good cook, James and Jellies over the weekend. It is a bitter orange, lemon and watermelon Jam. Actually its more like a marmalade. The recipe went together easily, but a curious thing happened while I was cooking it. The recipe said to add 3 cups of sugar for each 4 cups of fruit and simmer slowly for 1 hour. I did that but at the end of the hour, the consistency still seemed thin. My first though was to reduce it further. I pulled some out of the pot to taste and continued to reduce. I never did get to a really jelled consistency, however the taste started to change, it lost the fresh watermelon flavor and took on almost a "tea taste" like the sugars in the watermelon had carmelized. It doesnt taste bad but should I have taken another approach? I'm not familiar enough with sure gel to use it if its not called for in a recipe.
      Any help would be appreciated. Its a beautiful jam, I would just like to maintain the fresh watermelon taste and have it thicker.
    • By Prawncrackers
      Hola egulleters! Those of you who know me know that I like to turn my hand at Charcuterie now and then. Nothing is more satisfying than breaking down a whole pig and turning it into delicious cured meats and sausages. I'm quite happy making a wide range of products but there's one thing that I just can't get right. Fresh Spanish cooking chorizo, in particular I want to try and recreate this wonderful stuff from Brindisa http://www.brindisa.com/store/fresh-chorizo-and-morcilla/all-fresh-chorizo-and-morcilla/brindisa-chorizo-picante/
      They're wonderfully red, juicy and packed with deep pimenton flavour. Now when I make them I can get the flavour right but the texture is all wrong, very mealy, not at all juicy and the colour loses it's vibrancy too easily. What's the secret to them I wonder? Some kind of additive and/or food colouring?
      My recipe sees me mincing 2.3 kg fatty pork shoulder through a fine die, mixing with 80g pimenton, 50g salt, 30g sugar, 35g fresh garlic and stuffing into sheep casings. Here's a photo of them:

      I rest them overnight in the fridge before cooking with them. Maybe I should be putting some curing salt in there and hanging them for a couple of days? Does anyone have any experience making this kind of juicy fresh Spanish chorizo or even chistorra?
    • By milla
      For mid-May in all categories.
    • By riceman
      Dear friends,
      I would like to list here clever gastronomic proposals out of the ordinary to innovate in the kitchen. As an initial example propose our own proposal of cooking our homegrown rice to make our paellas in "El Sequer de Tonica", Spain.

      Who said that everything is invented in the field of gastronomy. I wait for your suggestions!!

      Cheers,
    • By Virbonus
      We've just come from 4 days in Madrid and an evening in Toledo. In Madrid we ate at Casa Salvador where my wife's oxtails were superb but I can only rate the flavor of my tripe as good, though it was cooked perfectly. I thought Barbara was going to swoon over the roasted marrow bone and beef at Sacha. She started with a fresh tomato salad in a very light balsamic vinaigrette that was perfection. I had the fried artichokes - paper thin slices of baby artichokes fried in olive oil that had the texture of potato chips but were pure artichoke flavor. I followed that with brains that were superb - lightly battered and fried, slightly crunchy on the outside, milky soft inside. Barbara had a chocolate thing for desert and she flipped. I had something akin to creme caramel, but I have no idea what it was, other than outrageously good. I think it had cielo in the name, but since I asked the maitre d' to just pick out deserts for us I'm not sure what we had.
      Then on Tuesday we went to David Muñoz's Diverxo. Extraordinary. And that's saying something because we got off to a really bad start. Twenty minutes to get a glass of wine ordered from the time we were seated. Then, when asked if I'd like chopsticks to which I replied in the affirmative, none ever arrived, but the food transcended all. An amuse bouche of edamame seasoned, perhaps with sumac and something else with a buttermilk-like garlic dipping sauce. Then we both had the seven course tasting menu (the other choice being the thirteen course menu). The seven courses were actually around eleven since a course would often be divided into two halves served sequentially, like the poached prawn (it was called something else) that arrived followed by the grilled, seasoned, head and body with the juices from the body drizzled over the poached tail. Somewhere in the middle were white asparagus wrapped in the skin of red mullet - actually the meal involved parts of red mullet in several of the dishes, such as a pate of red mullet liver on a thin crisp. The courses that I sort of remember include the soup served in a young coconut shell where eating the coconut meat was a desired part of the experience, a steamed roll with a quail's egg yolk barely poached on top, an extraordinary piece of tuna cheek that tasted like a sous-vide cooked short rib, and a piece of ox cheek that had been slow roasted for 112 hours, a small piece of hake served sauced accompanied by a horseradish cream and spherified lime, and a desert which I no longer remember. Very, very highly recommended.
      Yesterday, we made our way to Toledo, where completely by chance we went for lunch to Adolfo. It turns out that the chef, Adolfo Muñoz, is David Muñoz's uncle. And he cooks like it. Not modernist, but brilliantly. Barbara had a simple "small" salad ordered off the menu which was beautiful and then a scallops and artichokes starter with fresh baby artichokes and incredibly dense scallops barely accented with maldon salt flakes that were perfect. I had a risotto of black rice cooked with squid ink and baby calamari and manchego cheese that was off the charts followed by red partridge that was excellent, but paled in comparison to the risotto. Excellent.
      Now we're off to Lisbon.
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...