Sunday, October 12, 2008

Socarrat Paella Bar NYC

I have a miserable head cold this weekend. I couldn't stand to sit home another night in front of the television, watching the failing world economy and the politicians spew their bullshit. Let's go out.

If I put on a little makeup and some heels, I might feel subhuman.

We went into the city (NY, that is) and tried a 3 month old restaurant called Socarrat Paella Bar on W. 19th St. in Chelsea. (click on the link to see a cool interactive NY Times video of the restaurant).

There is no sign outside the place, but you know it's there because there is line outside waiting to get in.
The word SOCARRAT describes the burned, crusty bottom part of the paella pan (the best part, where you have to scrape the rice out of the pan....delicious!).

Socarrat is a long, narrow brick exposed bar with stools only.
If you don't like people, it's not the place for you, because you are literally, sitting shoulder to shoulder with the person next to you.

There is a nice tapas menu and about 8 paellas to choose from. All very authentic Catalan cuisine. We had the grilled calamari to start, with delicious garlic butter and excellent bread to soak up every last bit.
We shared the paella pescado (there is a 2 person minimum when you order paella) for $23 per person. The paella had scallops, mussels, shrimp, cuttlefish and other excellent flavors, and I loved the addition of the fresh fava beans.

The bartender was warm and friendly. He suggested which paella to order for our first visit, and also guided us with wines.
We had homemade Sangria, Estrella Spanish beer and a nice Rioja wine (do you think we had to enough to drink? it made my head cold feel better for the moment!).

This was a really fun place with great food. Very reasonably priced. They don't take reservations, but we only waited in line about 20 minutes. Can't wait to go back!
Click on this link to see their menu & website.