@victoriamargaux
 
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MY SETUP
For a cozy, authentic Spanish meal in New York, look no further than El Porrón Tapas Bar and Restaurant. Walking from the subway down 61st Street to 1123 First Avenue is a little sketchy, but once you reach the doors of El Porrón you'll be welcomed in like family.

Owner and chef "Mr. G,"
as he's fondly called by regulars, works in the kitchen twice a week prepping all of the components for each dish. On the other five days, he works the floor doting over customers like a proud Papa. Originally opening his first restaurant in Queens more than eight years ago, Mr. G fulfilled his lifelong dream of owning an eatery in Manhattan.

This isn't just any eatery, however. Mr. G's son Diego is the restaurant's resident sommelier, and each dish is crafted with authentic Spanish presentation and seasonings.
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ESPARRAGOS BLANCOS Y LA VINAGRETA DE CHARDONNAY
I opted for two tapas—one hot, the other cold—to get a more rounded feel of the menu.

First came the Esparragos Blancos Y La Vinagreta De Chardonnay. For those who aren't bilingual (myself included), that's navarra white asparagus spears in a chardonnay vinaigrette with a dash of lemon. I'd never seen white asparagus, let alone tried it, but I was pleasantly surprised by its mild flavor. The lemon was just the touch the dish needed to really sing.

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DIEGO DEMONSTRATING EL PORRON
Nearly every wall in the restaurant is adorned with black and white photos of men drinking out of El Porrón. Diego's just drinking water here, but the vessel is obviously meant for wine. When I asked Mr. G what was so special about this decanter that he named a whole restaurant after it, his reply was cute:

"It's especial because you feel especial when you drink from it."

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CALAMARES AL AJILLO (CHIPIRONES)
My hot tapas dish went deliciously well with Garnacha, a Spanish red wine with a spicy berry flavor. The Calamares Al Ajillo, or calamari, was delicately prepared with mild garlic, olive oil and a white wine sauce. I really enjoyed that the hearty portion of octopus was prepared simply so the actual seafood shined.

By the end of my meal, the entire restaurant was filled to the brim with laughing, smiling people. If that's not the kind of place you want to return to, then I don't know what is.

 


Comments

07/11/2012 4:55pm

This blog is pretty interesting, will add a bookmark, thanks.

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