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125 E. 17th St., nr. Irving Pl. (Union Square)
New York, NY
(1) 212-253-2773 | www.casamononyc.com
HOURSMon.-Fri.: 5:00pm-2:00am; Sat.-Sun.: 12:00pm-2:00am
DOOR POLICYRelaxed, but expect waits for seats when it's crowded
PRICE (TAPAS; GLASS OF WINE)USD 3-15; USD 12-25
SIGNATURE DRINKSpanish wines
BARYes - crowded wine and tapas bar
FOOD SERVED?Yes - tapas and dessert
PRIVATE ROOM AVAILABLE?No
SUBWAY14th St.-Union Sq. (4, 5, 6, L, N, Q, R); 3rd Ave. (L)
Yet another venture from celeb chef-restauranteur team Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich, this time a teeny-tiny U-shaped wine and tapas bar next door to their Michelin-starred Catalan resto Casa Mono. As usual, the inimitable Nancy Selzer has curated an award winning wine list (with nearly 600 Spanish picks). Terrific tapas nibbles like paper thin slices of Iberian ham, a creative selection of cheeses, and sweets like churros complement the vino offerings.
WHAT WE WOULD WEAR
Dark skinny jeans and a chic top.
GO HERE WITH
A couple of friends; tapas aficionados; a date - for a cozy drink; yourself
A well-dressed mix of 30- to 50-something professionals, foodies, and oenophiles.
WHY WE LIKE IT
Batali and Bastianich don’t disappoint, both the food and drink are outstanding. Plus, since it’s more relaxed than Casa Mono, it’s (marginally) easier to squeeze in. We like to come for a low-key nibble and drinks with a date or a couple of friends.
WHAT WE WOULD CHANGE
More space! On Fridays and Saturdays, you’re lucky if you get a seat, and even if you do, be prepared for your neighbors to aggressively block out their “area.” (And you can’t really blame them, given the lack of breathing room.)
GOOD TO KNOW
Further proof that the wine list rocks: Bar Jamón has been awarded a series of accolades from Wine Spectator, Wine Enthusiast and Spanish wine mag Sibaritas. Other restaurants by Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich that we dig include Eataly, The Spotted Pig, and Osteria Mozza.
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