Saturday, September 12, 2009

Vamos a la Spain via New York City!

As some of you may know, last night was my birthday and so the weekend will be a plethora of activities as I am known to celebrate my "birthweek" instead of just one crummy day. The hubs and I eased into things by having dinner at one of our little New York gems- Spain Restaurant in Chelsea (113 W 13th St btw 6th & 7th). We were introduced to Spain from a dear friend of ours who's parents are native New Yorkers and have been going there since the 80's. From what I understand not much has changed, prices, portions and quality included, and that’s precisely why we just love it!

 Spain is an authentic Spanish style restaurant with all of the best regional offerings including to die for sangria, paella, seafood, and chorizo. Upon entering the restaurant you feel as if you have been transported to old Madrid- the waiters are a team of veterans who have been employed there for 20+ years. They are a uniform bunch of older Spanish men decked out in red tuxedo coats with tails and quaint black bow ties. The ambiance is rustic Spanish- clumsy and tattered yet it possesses a certain patina that makes it charming. Immediately upon being seated the FREE tapas begin pouring in. Bread with butter, salad with a Catalina-esque dressing, muscles on the half shell with an onion, green pepper and lemon salsa, salty saucy spareribs, and a fantastically smoky sliced chorizo. All of this entirely complementary just for being their guest.

 While free food is hard to compete with, the star of the show is their Paella. We always opt for the Paella Valenciana with Lobster which comes out in a stainless steel cauldron chock full of perfectly cooked yellow rice and more clams, muscles, shrimp, chicken, and chorizo than any one human could ever possibly eat. They top the dish off with half of a lobster and then sprinkle on a super sweet price of only $19. Their Paella is some of the best I have ever eaten and I mean that with all sincerity. The generous portion is more than enough for 2 people (we ALWAYS have leftovers). Our entire dinner including a pitcher of Sangria and Paella with lobster came to a mere $46. Unthinkable in NYC!

The food is spectacular- unpretentious, straightforward and simplistic the way it should be. If you are looking for a glitzy New York restaurant with a celebrity chef and 5 star ambiance, then please, pretty please, stay away from my Spain. But if you are one who can appreciate the lack of frills and fanfare you will be rewarded with honest Spanish food and a rustic Spanish atmosphere unchanged after decades and decades. I urge you to give Spain a shot. Just don’t take my table, por favor!

photo source:


Simply Life said...

I looove Spanish food! Looks great!

JMo said...

Me too! Definitely try this place out. You can go with $25 and get apps, entree, etc. Can't beat it especially in New York!
Thanks for the comment!
Just Chow, Bella!