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Luxury Attaché’s Top 5 Tapas Spots

Some things are better when shared, and in the case of these small plate standouts, Luxury Attaché thinks you should do just that. Sample your way through the plentiful palate-pleasing offerings in any of NYC’s top spots, where tapas are consistently re-imagined and better than ever.

38 East 19th St between Park and Broadway
1

ABC Cocina

Is it the dark unadorned wood, the bustling semi-open kitchen replete with fresh seafood, or the sporadic perfectly placed minimalistic light installations that makes ABC Cocina so enchanting? Bright seasonally charged cocktails, reminiscent of Jean-Georges’s ABC Kitchen invite nostalgia and anticipating to the dining experience, whereas conceptually challenging tapas dishes bring curiosity into the meal. All corners of earth, land and sea are more than covered with a number of perennial vegetable and fish dishes, tacos, and meticulously prepared charcuterie and wood-burning grill-fired meat dishes. Perfect for romance and indulgence, newcomer ABC Cocina is here to stay.
52 Irving Place, between 17th and 18th Streets
2

Casa Mono

Chef-owner Andy Nusser, exceptionally talented Babbo and Po vet, shares his love of robust elemental flavors with diners of all types at Casa Mono. This Gramercy mainstay showcases traditional flavors from Catalunya, and more specifically the food of Barcelona's legendary Boqueria, in large amounts. Feel free to indulge at Casa Mono; for Batali’s tapas eatery is decadent in every sense of the word. Watch as slices of prosciutto are cut right on the bar, and dig into a plate of heaping, garlicky razor clams, that are truly too good for words. With an infamously extensive Spanish wine list, Casa Mono is smooth and velvety from the first sip to the final bite. Don't let the bustling open kitchen get in the way--grab a bar stool and watch the magic happen instead.
53 W 19th Street, between Fifth and Sixth Avenues
3

Boqueria

Yann de Rochfort's tried-and-true Iberian joint highlights ingenious flavors like Catalonian goat's-milk cheese in each of its hearty small plates. Packed with punch and spirit, Boqueria’s appetizers and entrees are made on display. The open kitchen is a stunning spectacle, seen from each luxurious cream banquette and the regal marble chef’s counter. Timeworn originals are turned out and tuned up, thanks to Rochfort’s ingenuity and creativity behind the scenes. First time here? Be sure to order the Gambas Al Ajillo tapas, with shrimp, garlic, and guindilla pepper in olive oil. Still looking to sip? Be sure to try the sangria; with ingredients that change with the seasons, each reinvention is even better than the last.
81 Greenwich Avenue at Bank Street
4

Barraca

A neighborhood gem featuring genuine and authentic tapas, paellas and sangrias by Chef Jesus Nunez, Barraca is a buzzing evening spot perfect for interactive dates and group meals. Paella and sangria? Yes, please. Delve into the Paella de Mariscos, with shrimp, scallops, and squid for a strikingly flavorful and full-bodied bite. Barraca thrives off of merging non-conventional spices and textures with traditional Spanish mainstays, each complementing the hip and hot crowd. This dynamite team behind Rayela and Macondo has done wonders for the Village with Baracca- open from brunch until 3am, there’s no need to ever leave.
47 Houston Street, between Greene and Mulberry Streets
5

Estela

In a bold move, Botanica owner Mark Connell decided to transform the former Knitting Factory space upstairs into an upscale, remarkably free-spirited, European-influenced wine bar and small plates mecca. With the combined powerhouses of former Blue Hill and Stone Barns beverage director Thomas Carter, and James Beard Award-nominated chef Ignacio Matthews, his dream is now a newly-opened reality. A sleek, simple space peppered with design touches such as globe lights and an all too approachable marble white bar, the casual yet authentic atmosphere takes diners far from the sidewalks of Manhattan and into a clandestine spot in the middle of say Paris or Barcelona. Plates are small, and meant to be shared and each comes, like the vast, 200 plus bottle wine list, stamped with varying global influence. Standouts include a bright scallop crudo with grapefruit and fennel and a re-imagined beef tartare hiding below a pile of addictive sunchoke chips and a surprisingly balanced fish sauce. The scintillating beverage program, highlighting everything from rare grower’s champagne to off-the-cuff beers is icing on the cake, or in this case, panna cotta.
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New York February / March 2014
New York February / March 2014