Table Talk: Socarrat Paella Bar

Socarrat Paella Bar
259 W 19th St
(between 7th Ave & 8th Ave)
New York, NY 10011
(212) 462-1000
Open Mon-Sun from 5pm-11pm

Socarrat, which in Spain represents the crust that forms on the bottom of the pan while cooking paella (and, might I add, the best part of paella), is where this small, but quaint bistro gets its name. They don’t take reservations, and waits can creep up to over an hour for dinner, but luckily my girls and I got there right before the rush and were seated immediately.

The place is only 6 months old, but has a surprisingly comfy vibe. It was as if friends had invited me to their apartment for an intimate dinner party. There is one long, narrow communal table in the center of the room, complimented by very warm lighting and a rustic décor. Very cute! Since the Paella takes about 30 min to prepare we began with a few tapas - the cauliflower soup was mouth-watering, and the Pan Tomaca was simply irresistible. The sangria was good, but way over-priced.

As my friends and I caught up on all the gossip and munched our yummy food, the infamous Paella de Pesacados y Mariscos arrived in a large cast iron pan that took up the entire table. Let me just say that it tasted as good as it looked and smelled, but at $23 per person for just the paella, which has a minimum of 2 people, I would suggest saving this lovely bistro for a special occasion.