Thursday, October 8, 2009

The Best Paella in New York City....

Pin It at Socarrat Paella Bar on 19th St (b/w 18-19th).

This VERY cute two-table (one long communal table and 1 4-top in the front window) paella bar was amazing. We got the 4-top in the front and it was totally worth the wait (they actually took Danielle's cell phone number and said they'd call her when our table was ready!!).

Not only did they call us back on time – but they said that our table would be ready in 10 minutes – but to come back in 5 so that we could pre-order our paella. We got there – and after Danielle vigorously defended our table (go D!), we sat and ordered a nice Tempranillo and some tapas - which were fantastic (though I have yet to meet a patatas bravas I didn't like…).

And then came the paella. We got 2 dishes – one with seafood and one with meat. The hardest part was when the waitress told us to let it sit for 2-3 minutes to let the flavors fully soak into the rice (why bring it out to the table then?! We were like a pack of vultures….)

And the meat paella was INCREDIBLE (I don’t eat seafood – so I’ll let the others weigh in there). It was made with chorizo, pork, chicken and duck. It was this smoky, crusty delicious heaven! And then the waitress (from the Basque region – cue the crickets… I don’t know why…) came and scraped the bottom – the socarrat – which was THE BEST PART. I said to her that this was better than the paella I had in Spain and she said that’s because of 2 things: 1) the ovens in restaurants in Spain usually don’t have flames or really hot brick ovens – which is key in the crispy deliciousness; 2) People in Spain don’t go “out” for paella – they make it at home in brick ovens or over outdoor grill pits. Sounds like our version of a BBQ!

We topped off the dinner with this cheese “cake” (more like a mousse) – I didn’t think I would like it – but it too was heavenly. The perfect ending to a fabulous meal!

So THAT’S the story of the best paella I ever had!


  1. Seafood lovers listen up - the "other" paella was chock full of mussels, clams, cuttlefish, squid, shrimp and scallops that were all cooked to perfection. I mean, how does one cook a paella for 30 minutes without overcooking the seafood?? It's a paella mystery...but nonetheless a delightful flavor discovery!

    I think the pork loin tapas also requires a shout out as a nice start to a fab meal.

  2. Came here again about a month ago with a pretty big party (6 people) and it was amazing again! Socarrat does not disappoint. Best paella and sangria hands down. Delicioso!