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Midtown South / Chelsea >
Socarrat Paella Bar
Posted by John from Chelsea on 12/23/2008
I live in Chelsea, just a few blocks away from this restaurant and have tried on several attempts to get it but it has always been too crowded. But last evening after theatre, my friend and I tried again and, alas, we got a seat right away. The services was efficient and very friendly. The food was also very tasty, but my jury is still out on whether it was a good value or not. Although the food was good, the final tab did not seem to justify the expense. A $50 paella dish seemed a bit too much for what was served (the two of us). The staff did their best to please, and it succeeded. The food was yummy, but only fault I found was not exceedingly generous portions for the price. I will return, however, to support my neighborhood paella place.
Posted by mambofable on 12/22/2008
The tapas was mediocre and expensive and the paella was oily, overcooked and didn't have any real socarrat. All of the tapas was average at best but the patatas bravas was unlike anything I have ever seen, more like potatoe chips rather than the moist fried hunks of potatoe that I am used to. As for the paella, it was drenched in oil and frankly contained nothing close to what I would recognize as socarrat. To me a socarrat is when the rice adheres to the bottom of the pan and clumps together to form a nutty chunk that has a definite bite to it. The chef had used so much oil that there was no way for the rice to adhere to the pan in this way so instead the whole thing had been overcooked in an attempt to achieve this, but all that happened was the edges became burnt. Also there were no beans in our paella, no chicken, and the rabbit pieces were incredibly miserly. Finally if I am going to pay this amount of money for what is standard Spanish food they could have put the effort in to make a proper Alioli (i.e.only use garlic and olive oil) not just garlic mayonnaise. The one redeeming feature of the place was the super friendly service team that had just the right balance of being around at the right time whilst remaining unobtrusive
Posted by Lauren on 11/12/2008
I've been to Socarrat two times, each time impressed with the food. The paella is delicious, with that sweet caramel texture on the bottom of the paella pan... come to think of it, i want more. Now! Seriously though, you need to know what to order there. The first time I went there, I just wanted tapas. I ordered the meatballs, which were good but not excellent, and then I asked the waitress to give some suggestions. She told me to order to pork belly. and WOW. I have dreams about this pork belly. HIGHLY recommend it. The staff is friendly. The ownder will come and sit down with you to chat and see if you're enjoying the food. It's a cute place to go to with excellent food. Not everything on the menu is stellar, so ask for the goods and you will get them!
Posted by Anonymous on 10/25/2008
Well, after reading a number of positive reviews of Socarrat, I finally had dinner there this evening and came out very, very disappointed. I'll start with the food. For the tapas appetizers, I had the gazpacho which was ok but nothing special. The "sizlling shrimp with garlic and hot peppers"...the tiny shrimp were absolutely soaked in oil and this dish was so salty I just couldn't eat it after tasting just one shrimp. Next we had the "New Zealand Lamb Chop" which was also so extremely salty I could barely eat it even though it had so very little meat on it to begin with...this dish came with little red potatoes which were both tasteless and drenched in oil. For our entree, we had the "Paella Socarrat" dish. All of the paella dishes are for 2 people to share. Anyway, this dish was so full of oil and grease, I can still feel it coming out of my pores as I type this. Overall, I can't recall the last time I ate a meal where I consumed so much oil and grease. I'm so disappointed that the food here was as poor as it was. Atmosphere-wise, I've also never eaten at a place that's as cramped as this place. Perhaps some people like these kinds of places but it definitely did not feel comfortable for me. Finally, this place ain't cheap.
Posted by fatboyNYC on 10/06/2008
Lolo is the man. This is one of the best places for paella i've been to outside of spain.
Posted by Anonymous on 09/27/2008
Stopped by early on a Friday nite. Socarrat is tiny, but we were seated immediately. We had the Paella Socarrat, croquetas and olives with almonds. For dessert, we had the crema catalan and cheesecake. All the food was excellent. Service was efficient and friendly without being obtrusive. Because space is limited and you're sitting a table that's more or less a bar (you sit on bar stools), Socarrat is not the sort of place where you might linger. It's also probably not wise to go with a party of more than four because (I imagine) it might take a long time for seats to open up. But these are minor complaints. With food this good and service this friendly, I can see Socarrat becoming the sort of place I go to again and again.
Posted by Anonymous on 09/15/2008
With all the great tapas bars now in NYC (and mostly in Socarrat's own backyard!), why go here? The tapas were very mediocre - everything needed a lot more salt. Signature paella fell flat.