La Bota, tapas for people who don’t care about food nor money.


La Bota
41 Greenwich Ave
(between Charles St & Perry St)
New York, NY 10014

 

I recently went to this little tapas place in the West Village to meet up with some old friends.  Another friend picked the place so I did my research and found that it was rated pretty well – hence, I agreed to go (ha, no but seriously, I don’t like paying for bad food).  Of course I scoured the Internet for all the best things to order prior to coming and ordered those exact things: pitcher of sangria, bacon wrapped dates, meatballs, and croquettes.  Sangria, as pictured above, was a $27 pitcher of immensely watered down red wine with fruits (mainly apples) that felt like they had just been put in recently.  Also, notice the concentric circles on the wedge of apple in my glass?  I vehemently tried to ignore it while sipping my water wine but I couldn’t help but meet its gaze every sip… I really should’ve just removed it, huh.

These are the Datiles con Bacon, aka, dates wrapped in bacon.  For $8, we got 4 mushy dates with probably one slice of bacon cut into quarters.  It wasn’t bad, because nothing can be that bad when bacon is involved.  I was just sad that it didn’t compare to my favorite bacon wrapped dates tapas in Boston at Toro where the dates are slightly crisp on the outside and much more sweet, filled with Marcona almonds and Cabrales blue cheese.  La Bota’s version is much simpler and more expensive.

I read that these meatballs were great and as many of you know, I do love my meatballs (see Meatball ShopParisi Bakery, and Banh Mi Saigon).  They apparently come in a mushroom sauce but as you can see, the sauce seems more like a tomato based sauce with some other vegetables in it (including a few slices of mushrooms).  For $9, I would expect something much more intricate.  The balls were small, dry, and very tough.  At least the sauce had enough salt to give the bland meatballs a little flavor.  

Croquettes were okay.  They were $8 and came with 5 little stubby pieces of fried … mush (LAW and HW, do you see what I mean?!).  Salty mush.  Okay, so clearly, my research failed.  Because the four things that I ordered all flopped.  My friends ordered a couple more random things…

      

From top to bottom, we have the grilled rice blood sausage, eggplant thing, grilled “marinated” chicken skewers, spicy potatoes, toast with tomato spread, and cured meat plate.

  • Blood sausage was okay, should have been sweeter (my friend, EC, says the blood sausages at Birreria – top of Eataly – are amazing).
  • Eggplant mush was paired with tomatoes, onions, olive oil, and vinaigrette.  Nothing wrong with this dish… it was cold, flavorful, and would have gone nicely on some sort of toasted bread.  It was $8 so it should have come with some sort of toasted bread.
  • The “marinated” chicken skewers are in parenthesis because the chicken must have been marinated in little more than some water… it was very tough and bland, probably the driest chicken I’ve had in a long, long time.  The last time I had chicken this dry was when I first started cooking two years ago… and well, let’s just say I overestimated how long it would take to cook.
  • Spicy potatoes tasted like IHOP homefries with some mayo and chili sauce.  Not bad.  Nothing special.
  • Toasted bread with tomatoes, garlic, and olive oil.  Oh my dear goodness, I can’t believe they charge $6 for five pieces of supermarket bread ($1.50 for an entire extra long baguette) and maybe 1/10 of a tomato mashed up with some garlic.  SERIOUSLY?!
  • Our Plato Serrano, plate of Spanish cured meats, also came with some hair.  Lovely. Meats tasted okay, nothing special either.

The waitress also messed up our bill twice… first time for adding a dish we never got, and second for charging us for a bottle of wine when one of us only ordered a glass.  Sigh.  All in all, the food was either not good, or just very average.  We left having paid over $30 each and still very hungry.  We ended up going to a second dinner at Basta Pasta and had the most amazing spaghetti with parmigiano reggiano with parma prosciutto.  It was served in half a wheel of parmesan cheese and was probably the best spaghetti of its kind that I’ve had.  I will definitely be blogging about this place soon… after I go again and sample more of their dishes.  Stay tuned!

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