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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Seconds at Socarrat

My parents don't usually like to visit a place twice when they come to New York.  They figure there is so much great food to try, why miss out on a new restaurant by going back to the food you've already experienced.  They made an exception, however, for Socarrat Paella, a restaurant I've blogged about before.  Since it was Father's Day weekend, this reservation was made particularly with my Daddy in mind (though I am not complaining because it happens to be my favorite restaurant).  And yes, you read that right - Socarrat Paella now takes reservations in their second location (in Nolita), which makes life much easier.  The food is just as good and the space is roomier.

I would actually go as far as to say that my meal was better this time than any other time I have eaten there.  The paella itself was as tasty as always (we got the pescado y mariscos again), but this time we got some new apps.  Our first two appetizers were good (croquetas and garlicy sizzling shrimp) and staples for this cuisine, but the other two were fantastic.

The second I picked up the menu, the scallop carpaccio jumped out at me.  I told (not asked) my parents that we would be ordering it.  I had never had scallop carpaccio (it was prepared ceviche style, I believe), but I liked it - a nice break from tuna tartar.  It was fresh with a nice zing from the flecks of sea salt and a drizzle of paprika oil to bring it back to earth.  All over a bed of avocado.  Everyone at the table agreed it was near perfect.  We were wowed yet again by a braised pork shoulder recommended by the waiter.  After he raved about it for a solid five minutes, we were worried we would disappoint him if we didn't order it.  He was right.  Crispy on the top, falling apart underneath - it was cooked impeccably.  It was a special for the evening, but the waiter said it's being requested so often that it is making its way onto the specials list most nights.  As if the paella wasn't amazing enough, those two apps merited Socarrat Paella its second blog mention.  This may have been a Father's Day dinner, but I can confirm that the daughter was beyond pleased.

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