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Wilfrid1

Casa Mono

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Plans to eat some jamon at the eponymous bar were set aside when it turned out to be closed in the afternoon (although packed with restaurant staff tucking into their between-shift meal :D ).

 

The Casa remains open throughout the day, though, so we ordered some hand-sliced ham (pleasant, thickly cut, soft-textured, but not the powerfully-flavored dried ham I had hoped for), with slices of pan con tomate and a frisee salad which contributed slices of manchego to a "ham and cheese sandwich".

 

Hot stuff? Croquetas de bacalao, pleasant enough, on a slighty dessert-ish lemon aioli, very good sweet red peppers stuffed with oxtail, and a disastrously unbalanced combo of hyper-salty quail and vinegary figs. The latter would have been sent back if we hadn't already somewhat over-ordered (this was a snack).

 

This is my second visit recently (thought I'd posted about the other, but can't find it). The food continues to be very hit and miss; given that fact, and the hugger mugger crowd at peak times, this remains an occasional snack joint rather than a restaurant where I'd make an effort to dine.

 

Makes me want to start a thread on just why the heck we can't have a regular, Spanish-style tapas bar in New York (like we apparently can't get a decent paella).

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Wilfred (sorry about the slight on Kasadela) - The new tapas place on 10th ave and 22nd that was in yesterday's NYTimes (Tia Pol) may be your answer. Buddy of mine who reviews restaurants said it's fantastic.

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I vaguely remember reading about a particular type of tapas bar in, I think, San Sebastian, where they serve only canned or jarred items such as different types of tuna, roasted peppers, mushrooms, etc. One would think that that format could be easily executed here since there would be practically no need for an actual kitchen, nor a chef for that matter. Import the necessary items as well as a large assortment of fino sherries and voila, San Sebastian/NYC.

 

So...I'm waiting......

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Wilfred (sorry about the slight on Kasadela)

:D :D

 

I forgot that was you. These multiple identities are confusing!

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Sometimes you just get lucky. After a drizzly stroll through the greenmarket, we walked a couple blocks over to a relatively full Casa Mono for a quick lunch. Only my second visit. My first was fine--good but nothing special. This visit, on the other hand, turned out to be surprisingly and consistently delicious.

 

We ordered three items from the regular menu and two from the tasting.

 

Langoustines a la plancha

Ramps with sunny side egg and romesco

Fried frog's legs with potatoes and sherried onion marmalade

Quail with rhubarb

Tripe with chickpeas and morcilla

 

Let me tell you--every dish was a winner. I can't remember the last time I was so pleasantly surprised by what came out of a kitchen. I'm not convinced that our meal wasn't some lucky aberration, but I'll find out soon enough.

 

The langoustines were great. Simply and perfectly cooked, three large specimens that were sweet, smoky, nicely charred, and very fresh. Probably the second best langoustine dish I've had in the States. Came with a citrus-heavy salad that was too acidic for me but whatever. I was tempted to order a couple more plates.

 

Ramps with sunny side egg and romesco was very good. Spicy romesco over a couple pieces of grilled bread topped with wilted ramps and a sunny side egg. The ramps got a touch lost in this assertively flavored dish, but it still worked like a charm. A piece of bread, plenty of runny, rich yolk, and a bit of romesco. Delicious.

 

The frog's legs were lightly breaded, cripsy, rightly seasoned, and very tender. A great combination of textures. They were accompanied by a potato salad--creamy fingerlings in a slightly creamy, herb-intensive vinaigrette and some sherried onion marmalade. Also very good.

 

The quail were simply prepared--split, seasoned, cooked just shy of medium, and pretty much all you could want out of such a simple dish. Some soft, pleasant rhubarb. Perhaps another component that I'm blanking on.

 

The tripe with chickpeas and morcilla was simple, rich, and flavorful. Falling apart tripe, highly seasoned morcilla, small bits of another, smaller sausage, with a bit of oil and chickpeas. Delicious.

 

I can't imagine that a diner should expect to eat as well as we did. Certainly we would've heard reports by now. But on a day when the kitchen is on--with respect to seasoning and execution--and the ingredients fresh and the dishes not too ambitious, it can turn out a great meal.

 

Drank a bottle of manzanilla.

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I concur about the food being better than ever....yes,I fess up to being a friend of the house,and have eaten at Mono many times.But a lunch with my mom last Monday was the best meal ever there-everything ;patatas bravas,langoustine ala plancha,skirt steak,duck egg with mojama,ramps with romesco....were spot on delicious,washed down with a nice tempranillo.

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Casa Mono has no tables for tonight. Tia Pol is closed on Mondays. I have to think of a place in the next hour. Has to be south of 23rd St. Has to have good wine (I'm going with a wine biz person). Don't want fancy at all. Otto is too noisy. Help.

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Casa Mono has no tables for tonight. Tia Pol is closed on Mondays. I have to think of a place in the next hour. Has to be south of 23rd St. Has to have good wine (I'm going with a wine biz person). Don't want fancy at all. Otto is too noisy. Help.

The new Craftbar maybe?

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Bellavitae closed on Mondays. Made a res a Lo Scalco. What about Alta?

Alta would probably work. I recall the wine list being decent, though I didn't eat anything. Just had a glass of rose at the bar.

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