Socarrat Paella Bar
Paella is a traditional Spanish rice dish that is cooked over an open fire and served directly out of the pan. This is a dish that is meant to be shared, and the best is rightfully saved for last. At the bottom of the paella is a layer of crispy rice which is the product of the caramelized liquid ingredients and rice or known as Socarrat; hence the name of the restaurant for today's review. What's funny is the number of people that complained about this flavorful part of the dish in the Yelp reviews of Socarrat and referred to it as burnt food. Understanding the origins of food and HOW it is cooked will allow you to enjoy a dish.
Socarrat has a total of three locations within Manhattan which includes NoLita, Midtown East, and Chelsea. All of their places include a happy hour that runs Monday through Friday from 4 pm - 7 pm. Happy hour includes half off on tapas and $6 sangria and select wines, but the deal is only available at the bar. Their NoLita location has Flamenco performances every Tuesday that starts at 7 pm if you are looking for entertainment with your meal.
Although they are known for their paella Socarrat also serves several types of tapas that can be shared as well and includes:
Gambas al Ajillo - shrimp cooked in olive oil, garlic, and peppers
Datilies - dates wrapped in bacon
Patatas Bravos - crispy potato cubes with aioli and spicy tomato sauce
Paella is meant to share so I would highly recommend dining with someone that has similar taste in food as you. I wouldn't recommend bringing a vegetarian with you if you love chorizo and other types of meat. I would recommend the ARROZ NEGRO if you love seafood because it includes shrimp, calamari, white fish, scallops, piquillo pepper, fava beans, and squid ink sofrito. If you consider yourself a lover of meat then I would order the CARNE because it has short ribs, chicken, chorizo, snow peas, and mushroom sofrito. My vegetarian friends, you should def go with DE LA HUERTA and indulge in eggplant, broccoli, snow peas, chickpeas, tomatoes, artichokes, pepper, tomato and onion sofrito. For the perfect medley of protein, I would encourage you to order SOCARRAT so that you can have chicken, beef, shrimp, white fish, squid, mussels, cockles, fava beans, pepper, tomato and onion sofrito all in one.
What I enjoyed most about the Socarrat outside of the marvelous food was the service I received. SHOUTOUT TO OUR SERVER, JULIANNA! Regardless if it is your first time or you got frequent flyer miles here when it comes to paella their staff does a good job of explaining how meals are coursed off. Julianna was attentive and most importantly kept my sangria glass full. Their dessert menu is pretty stellar as well and the chocolate beignets come highly recommended. The restaurant has large open windows, which is great for prime people watching, but the foot traffic on Mulberry isn't too distracting if you are having an intimate conversation.
Check out my pics below for everything we ordered