Thrifty Tapas in Midtown Manhattan

I know what you’re thinking; you can’t even sneeze in the city that never sleeps without spending $200. We’ll think again; 2 hours, a bottle of wine, 7 tapas, and $123.03 after sitting down; my two girlfriends and I walked out with full wallets and stomachs. In New York that’s about as rare as finding a car that doesn’t honk its horn. After getting caught up in the glittering lights and fabulous fashions of the Soho shopping scene; my credit card was breathing a sigh of relief. I have to admit, knowing that I had spent so little on a meal in Midtown gave me that little inner glow that every woman gets when she finds a steal; a feeling somewhere between cheating death and great sex. Not to mention the meal itself was sinful. We feasted on a tantalizing combination of sweet and sultry Spanish dishes that made our taste buds do the samba. Top it off with a fine bottle of wine, and it was evening to remember.

I would have to say that my favorite dish was the bacon wrapped dates. These velvety pillows were bursting with creamy blue cheese and blanketed by a smoky layer of fatty bacon. Every little morsel made melt in your mouth seem like an understatement. Each flavor worked together like a well composed tango, and tasted just as vibrant as one. The lusciously sweet dates enveloped the sharp brackish cheese that gave way to lingering hint of smoke to create a bite so voluptuous it would make Jessica Rabbit seem like a toothpick. It was a total OMG moment, and you didn’t even have to throw him out of bed in the morning ;).

Coming in at a close second was the garlic shrimp; succulent little crustaceans bathed in garlic and oil. They were so good would I have chased those things like the chef in The Little Mermaid to get them. Each bite exploded with a burst of intense, yet not over the top, garlicky flavor with a playful note of sweet briny shrimp that was rounded out by the earthiness of the olive oil. If it wasn’t wildly inappropriate I probably would have bathed in the bubbling little tub they placed on the table. Not to mention they were served with a side of fresh crispy Italian bread which alone would make be enough to make me believe that the Spice Girls are making a comeback. Heck I would lick the sidewalks of New York for a slice of good bread (what can I say I’m Italian, we love us some bread). As I dipped my coveted bread and bit into the delectable dish I decided that this was the “Sex and the City” of food; smart, juicy, bold, and tame all at the same time.

The rest of the meal was a cacophony of ambrosial seafood, delicately fried artichokes, sausage, and second rounds of things we’ve already ordered, washed down with the perfect pairing of a light red wine. We ate like kings and paid like paupers and while there was no champagne involved it was definitely beer budget.

Keep you wallets full and your mouths happy!

❤ DD

Copyright © 2012 Christine Van Arsdalen. All Rights Reserved


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