Nai Tapas Bar
174 First Ave
New York, NY 10009
Meh. I was looking for a good tapas place in East Village to take my family and some family friends because some of them had never had tapas before. I am really not well-versed in the tapas scene in NYC so relied heavily on Yelp and friends. Nai Tapas Bar is probably the highest rated in East Village with 4.5 stars on Yelp and Urban Spoon, and was also recommended to me multiple times by friends. They also took reservations which was a big plus for a big group. I ordered a variety of things and nothing stood out, especially not the watered-down sangria.
Chorizo A La Plancha ($5.50/$11.00)* – grilled Spanish sausage wrapped in a fried potato chip. It tastes like how it looks. Not bad, not great. Sausage was decent but didn’t have any particular flavors and wasn’t dry nor juicy… what else to say? Continue reading Nai Tapas – someone please explain.
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 Shop, Parisi 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. Continue reading La Bota, tapas for people who don’t care about food nor money.