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Midtown South / Chelsea >
Socarrat Paella Bar
Posted by notzagat on 02/18/2015
Socarrat is a paella palace. We ate from the limited Restaurant Week menu, but it served its purpose to introduce us to a charming little place with one big almost unforgivable drawback...ONLY high stool and bar seating. When I called to reserve I specifically asked if there were any regular seats (spouse being disabled) and was told yes (the reviews had warned of no regular seating); and contrary to the hostess, I know called the correct branch (Chelsea) because this was the one blocks from where I had to go afterwards. Oh, the food was very good. Crabmeat croquettes (6) and garlic shrimps (8) were tasty (tho shrimps bit overcooked). Paella of the day was chicken with artichoke; it was very good but had only 2 little chunks of chicken meat and 3 boned chicken parts with little meat. It was served in the pan it was cooked in and so the crust was there to scrape off. Very enjoyable, but even more so was the waitress who offered to scrape the rest off for us. Now, that’s service! My zarzuela was like Spanish cioppino; a broth with a variety of seafood (clams, mussels, shrimps, scallops, fish)—no bread for soup provided, but crisp bread was (3 tiny pieces in general) was given at beginning of meal. The seafood was tad skimpy but everything was properly salted, flavorful and not too briny amazingly. Mussels themselves were among largest I’ve ever eaten. Flan and churros were terrific; not overly sweet, decent sized portion and topped off meal perfectly. Glass of wine was $9 (least expensive). Service was attentive (plates cleared and water refilled timely). Courses were well-timed. Clean unisex restroom on ground floor (only 2) Excellent adventure overall.
Posted by J.G on 05/31/2012
I never felt I wanted to write a review about a place until I went there last night. The service was Ok, the food was super bland. The tables were so big and the music was so loud that you could not hear the person across from you. We ordered a paella and the menu was not clear about the price. They charged it two times for each person. It was over cooked with no flavor. I would never recommend this place. It should be closed down
Posted by Eliz on 01/09/2011
I don't whine about service - I'm pretty sympathetic to how picky people can be and how restaurant staff suffer for it. But I can't in good conscience let someone else suffer the night my friends and I had here. The food is overpriced (to be expected) but forgettable -- for PAELLA? SANGRIA? These are easy crowd pleasers. Most disappointing was the service -- nasty and insulting. My friend was promised a table to accomodate 10 friends for his b-day. Didn't happen - we were split into two tables. We were rushed the entire time -- took wine glasses that still had wine, plates were cleared for paella, which by their estimate was another 20 minutes away from being served. We did ask the waitress to slow down, which she did, and it may not be intentional, but her manner was more fascist than welcoming. A dessert was brought out, perhaps in an effort to make a bad night better. I had to ask the manager three times to bring enough serving utensils for the dessesrt. I finally had to touch him on the shouder to get him to pay attention to this request. He responded by LAUGHING in my face. My friend protested and he denied that he laughed. I had to let him know that I would be following up with this review.
Posted by manhattanite on 10/18/2010
A good, but not great paella. The socarrat is the burnt part of the rice, when it sticks to the pan. Others countries call it la raspa. This restaurant overdoes a good thing and carbonizes the caramelized rice. Also, although full of good ingredients, a bit lacking in taste. Excellent patatas bravas and chorizo tapas although both spicy with no warning. Charming, but super crowded, uncomfortably so, great if you have a group. Yes, they do pass you by the bar first to wait for your table. We had an excellent waitress. Wine by the glass very expensive. Paella for two plus two tapas and one glass of wine $83.84 before tip. Glad we went, don’t think we will return.
Posted by Anonymous on 07/12/2010
I thought the food was really good - great wine, tapas were varied and decently sized, Paella had great texture. I would definitely go back for the food. My problem was the service - we showed up just as the place was opening (planning to spend a long night there catching up) and we felt nothing but rushed. First they didn't want us to stay at our current table because it was a 4 top and our 3rd person was running late. Then we were being harrassed to get our paella order in - then you have to close out the wine bar tab in order to move to the paella bar. Then after paella - you have to close out that tab in order to go back to the wine bar (as there is no sitting and relaxing after eating paella - seat still warm as they shove another body into it). And even though we had spent most of the night there - they sat us right next to the bathroom. The service made it feel more like a cafeteria than a nice, relaxing tapas bar.
Posted by JT on 02/17/2010
The tapas were less than mediocre. The paella was cold, and over- salted. We figured we would sit by ourselves in the back and not have to sit with others, but the waiters and servers were there watching us eat. Do not sit in the back! The service was great, but the food was not worth what we paid for it.
Posted by du on 09/12/2009
We had a great time, small place, but good food and service. Two appetizers, paella, flan and a bottle of wine was $120. We'll go back again and again.