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7.8
NYC

Socarrat Paella Bar

Paella is the new ramen noodle and we're officially obsessed with this place. No bigger than a subway car, Socarrat packs the majority of their patrons on bar stools around a communal table. The idea here is that they do paella the way it's done in Spain, as one big family. In such a small space, keeping the drool inside your mouth while you wait for your food is no easy task. People are devouring sweet smelling goodness right next to you and all you can do is sit and watch. The smart move is to get a small plate or two to start and get those taste buds warmed up for the main attraction. The paella dishes are served in a huge pan for your party to split. It looks like an intimidating amount of food but the second you start getting in there, it goes fast. Make sure you scrape off the crunchy rice (socarrat) at the bottom, that's the real good stuff.

You're most likely going to have to wait a little for your table, but they'll take your number and call your cell when your time comes. While you wait, we highly recommend Peter McManus, a solid Irish pub on the corner of 19th and 7th that always seems to be playing either Oasis or Rage Against The Machine. Also, keep in mind that this isn't a cheap meal. Each paella is in the $20-25 range per person, not per paella.

Lastly, don't be surprised if you're tastefully pushed along during prime time. On one occasion, we were gracefully asked if we wouldn't mind finishing our cocktails on their private back patio. They even offered up a round of after dinner drinks on the house. Not a bad way to end a meal.

Food Rundown

Tocino
A quality combination of braised pork belly, roasted potatoes, and apples. We eat a lot of pork belly and can tell the fatty garbage from the chubby tummy. We've had this a couple times and it's been consistently solid.

Gambas al Ajillo
Sizzling hot shrimp with garlic and hot-red peppers, this refreshing dish has a nice spicy zest to it that makes it one of their more popular small plates.

Calamar a la Plancha
They really know how to work the squid here at Socarrat, so do yourself a favor and start out with their griddled squid with parsley and garlic. Unless you're planning on rocking the Arroz Negra paella as your main, because then that's just too much squid.

Paella De Pescado & Mariscos
A paella containing fish, shrimp, cuttle fish, mussels, cockles, clams, squid, and scallops.

Paella Socarrat
A paella containing chicken, fish, beef, shrimp, cuttle fish, green beans, mussels, and cockle clams. So good. Helpful hint, let the rice sit in the hot pan for a minute or two before digging in so it gets extra crunchy.

Arroz Negro Paella
A paella containing fish, squid ink, shrimp, squid, and scallops. Don't be afraid of the rice that turns black thanks to the squid ink, this is the paella that Socarrat is most famous for. The garlic aioli that comes on the side with this one is hard to put down.

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