TascaFred and I had a school event last night in Chelsea. Afterward, we didn't have reservations anywhere but figured we would just magically show up at a great restaurant and get a seat at the bar.  NOT. 

We left Chelsea and first stopped at Tia Pol on 10th Avenue and 22nd.  Totally packed.  Every seat, including the bar seats, are only seated by the host.  Bummer.  No scouting out the people leaving the bar.  The seats have been slated for.

Hmmm.  Where next?  We walked down to Del Posto since the bar is generally not that packed.  No longer.  The place was humming.  Now that there is a cafe area in the bar, it is like two restaurants in one.  Quiet, sedate and serene on one side, a total scene on the other.  One major bummer is they do not serve food at the bar.  So, unless we planned on just drinking and eating peanuts we were out of luck.  Next.

We grabbed a cab and headed over to Gusto.  At this point I was really getting hungry.  The bar scene was hopping and so was the restaurant.  We tried to be strategic for awhile.  Everything looked so good that I was starting to think about what to order.  We realized very quickly that we were being out maneuvered at the bar so we left.  Ugh.  Note to self, going back to Gusto sooner than later. 

Next stop was Tasca.  Tasca had opened a few weeks ago and I wanted to check it out.  Also packed but we went in and asked if there was any spots available for two.  Lucky for us, there was literally one table left and we took it.  The bar stool was not happening for us tonight. 

The menu is straight out of Spain.  Lots of tapas and a few main courses.  A pretty extensive list of Spanish wines and of course, sangria.  Honestly not a lot on the menu turned us on.  I think we were thinking Italian at this point not Spanish.  We ordered four different tapas and were told that they were out of 2 of them.  I don't think they were expecting so much business so quickly.  What else could it be?  Our expectations were low. 

We started out with grilled octopus and a raw tuna dish.  This comes along side with a small bowl of baked pita chips, a white bean dip and a few olives.  The grilled octopus was delicious.  Small little pieces of octopus, grilled and spicy with a handful of arugula on top.  The other dish was sliced raw tuna that had been dressed with an olive oil red orange sauce and a mound of thinly shaved fennel mixed with mint on top.  Really good.  An interesting combo of flavors and fresh.  At this point, we opted to try a few others. 

Ceviche that was spicy and served in a small cup on a medium sized plate covered with spicy popcorn.  Clever and tasty.  The other was sliced tomato with poached tuna pieces on top.  All good.  We just weren't in the mood for meat but the lamb dish looked interesting. 

The service is exceptional.  The tapas come out of the kitchen as fast as Chinese take-out.  A great place for a group to have a tasting fest.   Well priced too.  I might have to go back and order the paella.  Good paealla is not that easy to come by.  All and all we were really pleasantly surprised.

On the way out I noticed that there was a laminated card of a review that was of there place.  The review was from UrbanDaddy, a lifestyle blog that focuses on food, trends, clubs etc.basically for New York and Los Angeles.  But I loved that Tasca had presented a review from a blog vs. a review from the New York Times or a typical media publication.  Just shows you, times are a changing.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Joanne Wilson Joanne Wilson loves food, books, and music. She lives in New York City. Her husband Fred and children Jessica, Emily, and Josh are bloggers too. More »

gotham gal updates

RSS    Email updates    Gotham Gal Twitter updates

ask gotham gal

Powered by Formspring.

books of the moment

  • Helen Oyeyemi: Boy, Snow, Bird: A Novel

    Helen Oyeyemi: Boy, Snow, Bird: A Novel
    I wanted to love this book. There are 3 sections. The first one pulled me in but I found that the second and third were not as interesting. A topic worth writing race issues is interesting but the book rambled. Alas.

  • Andrea Portes: Bury This

    Andrea Portes: Bury This
    A 25 year old unsolved town murder inspires a group of college kids to make a documentary around it with the belief that with the tools we have today that it can be solved. The writing is unique. Rapid short sentences that keeps the reader engaged. Super sad story.

  • Susan Minot: Thirty Girls

    Susan Minot: Thirty Girls
    This is based on a true story of a group of young women who were taken by the Kony LRA rebels in Africa while living and studying at a church. We follow a journalist and her experience on reporting about the girls who have survived by escaping. Learning about their traumatic experiences is heartbreaking. How and why this continues to go on in Africa is mind-boggling. I would have preferred Minot to spend more time with those girls than getting inside the journalists head. Regardless I really am glad I read this book. It is an absolutely worthy read.

  • Anna Quindlen: Still Life with Bread Crumbs: A Novel

    Anna Quindlen: Still Life with Bread Crumbs: A Novel
    A simple story about life, love and art. A 60 year old woman still evolving and finding herself. Really enjoyed it.

  • Jean Hanff Korelitz: You Should Have Known

    Jean Hanff Korelitz: You Should Have Known
    This book comes out on March 18th. The book moves fast with lots of twists and turns. A psychiatrist who has just written about how you should have known you were in a bad relationship finds her husband to not be who she thought he was. The perfect beach read.

  • Bill Bryson: One Summer: America, 1927

    Bill Bryson: One Summer: America, 1927
    My sister recommended this book. What happened that summer from baseball to Lindbergh and aviation to Henry Ford, Calvin Coolidge, Hoover, prohibition, Mt Rushmore, talking movies, theater, Al Capone and the first ponzi scheme. A great historic read.

  • Kim Malone Scott: Virtual Love

    Kim Malone Scott: Virtual Love
    Not sure how I stumbled on this book but I am glad that I did. The book is about a woman trying to figure out her life. She was an entrepreneur and closed her company. She moved to SF to work at Google and run the Ad Sense division. She is in bad male relationships and needs to figure out why so she can get in a good one. There are a lot of thoughts bouncing around her head in regards to her personal struggles. Truly enjoyable well written insightful book.

  • Jhumpa Lahiri: The Lowland

    Jhumpa Lahiri: The Lowland
    I had read both the Namesake and Lahiri's short stories and I felt both of those books were so much better than the Lowland. There was not on character I liked. None of them lived in the future or the present they all lived in the past. Their lives were just utterly depressing. Also the book was way too long. It is certainly a saga about the turmoil in Calcutta in the 60's and the havoc it wreaked on one family in the post. Perhaps if they all had sought therapy then their lives would have been happier. Would not recommend.

  • Liane Moriarty: The Husband's Secret

    Liane Moriarty: The Husband's Secret
    This is a great book for vacation reading. I read it in a day. Engaging characters who are living real lives and each come with their own baggage. I won't give away the premise of the book but I really enjoyed it.

  • Kate Atkinson: Life After Life: A Novel

    Kate Atkinson: Life After Life: A Novel
    I have read most of Atkinson's books. This was an interesting concept. The book mostly takes place during the world wars yet a bit of a challenge to read. It took me a long time to get into the book and then I decided to soldier through. Many of the chapters are essentially redo's of the characters life so that in one chapter they end up dying where in another chapter they continue to live due to a few shifts that take place. Each small decision you make has to do with the life you end lead. Interesting but did not love the book as much as I wanted to.