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Manzanilla Opens in New York City

Manzanilla Opens in New York City


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Chef Dani Garcia has fulfilled a lifelong dream. After running Calima, a two Michelin star restaurant in Marbella, Spain, the chef decided to open a new Spanish brasserie in New York City: Manzanilla.

In order to make his dream become a reality, he paired up with Yann de Rochefort, renowned restaurateur and owner of the popular tapas restaurant, Boqueria, to help him operate his new kitchen. "I was inspired to share the concept and philosophy developed at Calima, but it was very important to me to work with a seasoned operator like Yann de Rochefort who understands the city and its restaurants,” Chef Garcia said in a release.

The final result of this collaboration? A bi-level restaurant on Park Avenue South filled with Andalusian culture and delicious Spanish dishes.

With de Rochefort’s help, Garcia was able to come up with an authentic Spanish menu while still appealing to the classic New York foodie. The menu “fuses tradition and leading-edge techniques without losing sight of great flavors as the ultimate goal,” according to de Rochert.

There are a variety of unique dishes on the menu, including tuna tartare in a uni glaze, pulpo a la gallega (Spanish octopus with potatoes and a pimentón froth), monkfish in salsa verde, and slow-cooked suckling pig served on butternut squash purée.

The dessert selection is also unconventional, with Spanish vanilla rice pudding topped with raspberry cotton candy and crunchy caramel, pineapple iceberg with ginger-poached apples and passion fruit cream, and creamy chocolate fondant with basil lemon cream and yogurt popcorn (yum).

And if you like a nice glass of wine or a cocktail with your meal, you’re in luck because Manzanilla offers an extensive wine list and a cocktail menu that will definitely spark your interest with drinks such as the “Sol de Jerez” with Double Cross vodka, Lustau Olorso, Licor 43 and fresh blood orange juice; the “Puzzled Look” with Flor de Caña rum, Bendedictine, velvet Falernum, Broker’s Bitters and lime; and the “Ensenada Meets Marbella,” a mix of Espolon Blanco tequila, Alvear Carlos VWW amontillado, grapefruit, grapefruit salt and lime.

The work is all done and the restaurant is now open. Now, all Garcia and de Rochefort can do is see how New Yorkers react to their new Spanish inspired restaurant.

Skyler Bouchard is a junior write for the Daily Meal. Follow her on twitter at @skylerbouchard.


4 Sugar Snap Pea Cocktails to Try Right Now

Peas in a cocktail? Believe it, people. No ingredient is considered too weird or esoteric for today’s bartenders. And compared to squid ink or bacon, the humble sugar snap pea seems downright mainstream.

The first drink I ever tried with snap peas was made by the sure hands of Tom Macy at Brooklyn’s award-winning Clover Club. It was late April several years ago, the farmers’ markets were awash with peas and fava beans, and Macy’s drink was a revelation. The temperature was creeping up into the 70s, and when his Green Giantmade with old Tom gin, dry vermouth and muddled snap peas and tarragonwas presented to me on a mountain of crushed ice, I was embraced in a wave of perfect spring refreshment.

That drink inspired a new cocktail of my own, which combines many spring flavors, including lemon thyme, verjus (the tart non-alcoholic juice of unripe grapes) and of course snap peas, with seasonally appropriate liquors including aquavit, absinthe and, my all-time favorite, dry manzanilla sherry.

Because peas have such a delicate flavor, it’s best to choose spirits similar to dry sherry, things that are light and clean, like vodka, gin, genever, pisco, blanco tequila, aquavit or white rum, as well as other light-colored fortified wines.

Sugar snaps are part of a group of pea varieties whose entire pod is edible (a term the French call mangetout, meaning “eat all”), much like the closely related snow peas. Removed from the pod, these peas can be blended to make a versatile puree that’s great when shaken in cocktails like the Green Margarita.

I’ll never stop eating—or making—the classic salad of peas, fava beans, fresh mint and ricotta cheese. While that last ingredient won’t make its way into my cocktail shaker anytime soon, you get the idea.


After 8 Decades And Countless Pastrami Sandwiches, New York's Carnegie Deli Folds

Customers dine at Carnegie Deli in New York City. The iconic deli, known for its large pastrami and corned beef sandwiches, announced it will close at the end of the year. Drew Angerer/Getty Images hide caption

Customers dine at Carnegie Deli in New York City. The iconic deli, known for its large pastrami and corned beef sandwiches, announced it will close at the end of the year.

One of the most famous delicatessens in New York will slice its last sandwich this week.

The Carnegie Deli opened in 1937 on Seventh Avenue across from Carnegie Hall. But it didn't' achieve notoriety until decades later — around the time that director Woody Allen filmed a table full of off-duty comedians there in his movie, Broadway Danny Rose.

There's still a "Woody Allen" sandwich on the menu at the Carnegie Deli: half pastrami, half corned beef. But the real star is that pastrami.

"People love my pastrami so much, it's like a human being," says owner Marian Harper. "It's overwhelming to me."

Harper inherited the Carnegie Deli from her father, Milton Parker, who took over the restaurant with partner Leo Steiner in 1976. Back then, the Carnegie was just another deli in the theater district. Then a reviewer from The New York Times listed its pastrami among the best in the city. Ever since, Harper says, it's been tough for customers to get a table.

Marian Harper is the owner of the iconic deli. She inherited the restaurant from her father. David Verdini/Courtesy of Carnegie Deli hide caption

"They know to come here hungry," says Harper. "They love the big portions. My father called it gargantuan sandwiches, he used that name."

The deli's oversized portions and over-the-top attitude made it an essential New York experience.

"The Carnegie is really the New York Jewish deli," says Ted Merwin, professor of history at Dickinson College, and the author of Pastrami on Rye: An Overstuffed History of the Jewish Deli. "It's a symbol for what I call the ethos of excess."

Merwin says restaurants like the Carnegie Deli and its longtime rival, the Stage Deli, played an important role in American Jewish culture.

For Jews, an important part of their becoming American was being able to eat in delis that were in and around the theater district, says Merwin. "So the celebrity culture was something they participated in very avidly."

Pictures of movie stars and famous people who have dined at the deli hang on the restaurant's wall. /Courtesy of Carnegie Deli hide caption

The walls of the Carnegie Deli are still lined with photos of Broadway stars. But most of them are forgotten now. And most of the patrons don't bat an eye at the Christmas music being piped into the dining room. They're mainly tourists, hungry for a nostalgic New York experience.

"I'm sorry to see it go," says John Sinnott, who was dining with his wife and two children. The family lives in the Hudson Valley and visits New York City every year during the holiday season. Sinnott says it's an annual family tradition to see the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center, and stop at the Carnegie Deli for lunch.

"It's another part of New York that's gone forever," he says. "You have to move forward. But some things you don't want to leave behind."

The Carnegie Deli has been struggling lately. It closed for 10 months after workers reported a gas leak. A court ordered the restaurant to pay its employees more than $2 million in back wages.

Customers wait in line outside for a table at the Carnegie Deli. Drew Angerer/Getty Images hide caption

Customers wait in line outside for a table at the Carnegie Deli.

Marian Harper went through a nasty divorce from her husband, who allegedly stole the deli's prize pastrami and cheesecake recipes, and shared them with his mistress. But Harper says none of that is responsible for the closing of the deli's Manhattan outlet at the end of the month.

"I'm at that certain age where I want to enjoy my life, and I want to do certain things," says Harper. "And all good things must come to an end."

The Carnegie Deli will still have outposts in Las Vegas and Bethlehem, Pa. But if you're looking for that table full of comedians in the back, you'll have to watch Broadway Danny Rose.


Four Cocktails Putting Drambuie to Work in Unexpected Ways

With the onset of autumn, a range of flavor profiles and characteristics return to favor. After a recent competition between some of New York City’s most expressive bartenders, the sometimes misunderstood Drambuie—a Scotch whisky liqueur from the Isle of Skye incorporating honey, heather and herbs—should be taken into consideration once again. More than a component in the Rusty Nail classic cocktail, Drambuie’s sweet and lightly spiced essence can be a dynamic addition to a slew of drinks. When many people hear the name, there are vague parental (or grandparental) associations—or a vision of the bottle. Really, though, as cocktail-making continues to advance, incorporating ingredients both new and renewed, Drambuie’s got something that others simply do not. Below, four cocktails highlight the way the liqueur pairs with Scotch (of course) but also alcohols like mezcal and sherry. The back-bar of today is about more than a diverse range of products like Drambuie it’s also about knowing how to use them all in interesting ways.

Peni for Your Thoughts

Created by Tracey Mellon of NYC’s acclaimed American Whiskey bar and restaurant, the Peni for Your Thoughts contains two surprises. First, Mellon employs the aged (and sometimes hard to come by) Drambuie 15 Year Old. Further, it’s a mezcal cocktail that’s strongly spiced thanks to the Ancho Reyes.

1.5 oz Drambuie 15 Year Old

2 dashes of orange bitters

Shake all ingredients, strain over big rock and garnish with lemon peel.

Shibari

Punch & Pie NYC‘s Logan Ronkainen developed our personal favorite, the Shibari. Japanese Whisky plays the dominate role here, in conjunction with the Drambuie. The name references a Japanese decorative rope tying technique used to make wearable fashion. Below, there’s also a recipe for its grapefruit-pistachio shrub.

1 oz grapefruit-pistachio shrub

Stir ingredients. Pour into “Shibari” tied glassware—stemmed highball or wine glass will work, bound with twine. Express and discard grapefruit peel. Pistachios served on the side.

Grapefruit Pistachio Shrub

6.5 fl oz grapefruit juice

1.5 fl oz cup fine champagne vinegar

1 fl oz fresh ginger juice

Combine in a blender or food processor and pulse. Let stand for an hour. Strain.

MacKinnon Sour

Drambuie is the dominant component of this cocktail—disrupted by four other ingredients each offering a diverse new flavors. Sherry and Ancho Reyes lend their spicy complexity but lemon juice creates an unexpected brightness. David Alan Roth of Covina, one of NYC’s best new restaurants, created the MacKinnon Sour.

.25 oz Ancho Reyes liqueur

Angostura bitters as garnish

Shake all ingredients with ice for 10 seconds. Discard ice and dry shake for another 10 seconds. Strain into a chilled Nick and Nora glass. Garnish with 3 drops of angostura bitters then express lemon oil from peel over the froth.

Bonnie Prince

Created by Cliff Mejia of Bathtub Gin images the Bonnie Prince and it’s a whole lot of joy all in one. From Irish whiskey and absinthe to sherry and apricot eau de vie, there are multuple spirits within. Rather than compete for attention, they blend into a sweet, complex cocktail that definitely delivers a punch.


Suckling Pig

A friend's friend just started working here and so we decided to check this new place out. It's a very classy and modern tapas restaurant with a beautiful and spacious interior. I think because it was still quite new, the place was not that full even on a weekend night.
The food was quite delicious and our friend brought more than we ordered, I really liked the suckling pig , but the croquettes and brioche were only ok.
My favorite was the cotton candy pudding dessert, it was SO pretty! It was also very tasty, where else can you get cotton candy served on a fancy plate, so nyc.

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I'm a fan of Spanish tapas and I've been to several tapas restaurants in the City. The ones I've been to were all decent, but there weren't necessarily memorable. My expectations for this restaurant were high since the food is prepared by the Michelin-star chef Dani Garcia. Indeed, I wasn't disappointed - their food was rich in flavor and distinguishable from other Spanish tapas places. Here are the dishes that I tried:
- Croquetas de sepia (squid ink&cuttlefish croquettes): These come out in an egg carton-looking plate, which was very interesting. Very nice presentation. These croquettes were amazing. Every bite you take, the stuffing oozes out of the crispy shell and spreads into your mouth and you experience heaven!
- Pulpo con Pipirrana (octopus salad): Very fresh, light dressing.
- Montaditos de rabo de toro (steamed brioche buns with pulled oxtail): You know what these reminded me of? Pork buns that you get from Japanese ramen places. They were good. The buns were soft and moist and the pulled oxtail was buttery and richly flavored.
- Cochinillo ( suckling pig ): Delicious.
- Arroz con leche de vainilla (creamy rice pudding with raspberry cotton candy): Must try. I don't know where else you would try such dessert! Quite an experience.

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  • Ken S.
  • Manhattan, NY
  • 556 friends
  • 652 reviews
  • 5264 photos
  • Elite ’21

Manzanilla is a Spanish brasserie from Dani Garcia, a chef from Spain known for his acclaimed, Michelin-starred restaurant Calima there. It is the first foray into New York for Garcia. It is certainly an ambitious project, with a massive dining room that was surely designed by one of the professional design firms in Manhattan. I'm not entirely sure what kind of identity this restaurant is supposed to project, but it seems it is more geared toward traditional Spanish dishes with some touches of experimentation.

While the restaurant had some good dishes, others were somewhat underwhelming. I would suggest going heavy with appetizers, especially squid ink and cuttlefish croquettes (literally melt in your mouth once you chew it) and tomato tartare (deceptively good dish). Tuna tartare with sea urchin cream and smoked octopus dishes were also solid appetizers. The entrees are the weak point in this restaraunt. I had black rice (with shrimp ink, shrimp, and cherry tomatoes) and suckling pig , but neither dish was particularly memorable. For dessert, definitely go for Marbella's Full Moon, a sphere white chocolate that looks and is delightful.

The space is big enough so securing a reservation is not too difficult. The restaurant also has a full bar, which can get fairly crowded at night. I normally don't comment on the quality of services (only food matters to me when it comes to my restaurant reviews), but the service here is a bit spotty compared to other places. I had to wait a long time before a server approached my table for an order.

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100th review goes to Manzanilla and the best dinner I've had in recent memory.

Firstly, this place is cavernous and on a Saturday night, the clientele was extremely diverse. We got seated at a spacious table in the corner and I marveled at how my elbows could easily flop out without offending anybody and I wasn't hearing snippets of salacious conversation coming from the neighboring table all evening.

I think that Manzanilla's strength lies in the beginning and the end. We struggled which of the appetizers to get because a number of them seemed really creative. We went with the highly-recommended oxtail brioche, and the tomato tartare.

The oxtail brioche looks like an ordinary bao at first, but it comes with this spicy mayonnaise on top that really set it apart. Also the tomato tartare took some feat of culinary engineering, transforming the tomatos into these slick slivers that I really did mistake for tuna when the waiter set it down.

Recalling the NYT review, I went with the Black Rice for my main and it was phenomenal. Shrimp, cuttlefish, and this squid-ink rice that was seeped with all this seafoody richness. A very well-executed paella, if you will. Note that the black rice will completely dye your mouth and at one point I looked like Marilyn Manson eating dinner. Eat, swish, eat.

The star of the show were the desserts however. Here we went overboard and got the Full Moon (which was like a deconstructed chocolate cake), the Rice Pudding (which had some crunchy chocolate bits in it), and the Pineapple Iceberg. Holy crap, the Pineapple Iceberg is incredible and molecular gastronomy at its best. It looks like a hard hunk of pineapple, but tap at it with your spoon and it gives way to these soft, creamy froth. And it comes in a pool of passionfruit sauce and is the perfect light palate-cleanser to end your meal.

Already planning my next trip back: I've got croquettes and suckling pig on the mind.

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  • Brian C.
  • New York, NY
  • 114 friends
  • 30 reviews
  • 1 photo

This new Spanish Brasserie in midtown is an offshoot of a 2 Michelin starred restaurant in Marlbella, Spain. The ambiance is upscale trendy and the service is impeccable. Our waiter was very helpful with the wine selection and helping us choose our entrees.

As for the food, the Iberico Pork Charcuterie plate is fairly standard. The waiter hyped it as if we were really getting something special from Spain but the fact remains that most of the best Serano Jamon from Spain can't be imported to the US as it does not meet FDA standards. We also had the Brussel Sprouts which were good but not great. The highlight of our starters was the Pulpo a la Gallega (octopus). It came with a spicy Pimenton Foam which made went perfectly with the Octopus.

For the entrees we had the Suckling Pig and the Pollo En Pepitoria. The pig was served with a simple sauce allowing the flavor of the meat to stand out. The Chicken was a masterpiece. The almond sauce and the farm fresh egg really complimented the meal making the highlight of the entire evening.

For desert we had the chocolate cake with Bourbon Ice Cream. This was a miss. The cake was way too sweet and the Bourbon made the consistency of the ice cream really odd. Overall, a really interesting meal worth another visit.

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  • Christoff F.
  • New York, NY
  • 10 friends
  • 130 reviews
  • 17 photos

Went on a pre opening tasting. There were some really great items on the menu and it was also nice to be one of only 14 diners to be served.

Tomato Tartar: Rich and savory. Perhaps the best tomato dish I have ever eaten. I wold swing by the bar just to order that.

Artichoke with slow poached egg: Nice around flavors but rather difficult to eat with a knife and fork, the egg goes right though the fingers.

Suckling Pig : Fantastic crispy skin with a nice wilted escarole.

Lobster risotto: No longer on the menu. A bit toothsome for my own preference but after speaking to other Spaniards was informed that this is how it is done.

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  • Bing R.
  • New York, NY
  • 161 friends
  • 605 reviews
  • 3755 photos
  • Elite ’21

The dessert is better than my main course. My only disappointment was the suckling pig which they promised to have light and crisp skin. Well, it was crisp but not really the skin I know. Skin. What saved my opinion were the desserts and the cuttlefish croquettes. We ordered 2 of the most outstanding desserts worth the price! The rice pudding was complex and the presentation was awesome. And what was more awesome was the Marbellas Full Moon. The Moon was made of orange flavored center with white chocolate gooey trufle-like center which looked like the egg white of the yolk wrapped with some skin that remind me of the cream on top of a cream. This "moon" sits in a bed of crunchy chocolate mixtrue with some toasted hazelnuts and thin wafer chocolates. You've got to try it to see for yourself.

The desserts changed our opinion about this restaurant.

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  • Lennie R.
  • Beverly Hills, CA
  • 382 friends
  • 131 reviews
  • 46 photos

Spanish Michelin Star (2) chef opened this great spot about 6 weeks ago and it's already being rated as one of the best new restaurants in NY. I can see why. I tried three dishes, the Tomato Tartare (think bruschetta with roasted tomato spread), the artichokes - with an oxtail demiglace and 120 degree egg - this dish was perfectly balanced, and the sucking pig which was untraditionally served as a square (think lasagna slice) of suckling pig with crispy (though not crispy enough for my liking) skin on top, and butternut squash puree delicately enhanced with citrus (orange), escarole and asparagus on another demiglace (different from the oxtail one). The food is solid, and thankfully NOT over-salted. This chef can balance acidity without going salt crazy. I'd definitely eat here again. The waiters have come from all over --- 11 Madison for example --- the sommelier from Alain Ducasse --- so if they're migrating over, then you can be assured it's a good sign. The wine list has a great sampling of spanish wines, but also appeals to those who prefer French or American wines. But, as I say when in Rome. or when eating in a Spanish (influenced) restaurant. why go with American/French wine.

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  • Asuka N.
  • New York, NY
  • 392 friends
  • 1800 reviews
  • 213 photos
  • Elite ’21

I didn't know the history or the chef behind Manzanilla when I went, just that I was stoked that there was a Spanish-style restaurant opening just around the corner from where I live. If anything, I get the sense that the food here is very much in the vein of contemporary/new American food, but with heavy Spanish influences - so if you are expecting food straight from Spain, you're probably going to be disappointed (and should have gone to a tapas restaurant instead). Although it didn't seem too crowded when we came in around 6:30 on a Friday evening, most of the seats were taken via reservation. so best to call ahead/book online before coming in. The drinks menu has a solid selection of wine by the glass and cocktails I stuck with a Sixpoint Rye, which is a very solid rye beer with a full body that is on tap. The waitress was enthusiastic about serving us, asking us how we liked the food and opining which was her favorite - a good sign that the servers here were much more on-point than another newly-opened restaurant (Sarabeth's, a block away).

The food itself is pretty phenomenal and reasonably priced as well. We started off with the squid ink croquettes and the tuna tartare. The warmth of the squid ink, combined with the aioli sauce, made for a very dense but enjoyable appetizer (you get 6 of them in an order). The tuna tartare was very original. it's hard to do tartare in an interesting way, but topping it with frothy uni cream - very original. It's a very light uni flavor, so it doesn't weigh on the fish too much, and the avocado and apple pieces (which, texture-wise, were a little out of place) really help to freshen up the dish. Both entrees were incredibly delicious as well. I can't say enough about the suckling pig , which just falls apart in your mouth, and it's not over-sauced or over-marinated, so you get to taste the succulent juices of the pig , combined with the crispness of the skin. I'd come back here just to eat this and only this dish! The bacalao was also very well-prepared, covered in frothy sauce that tasted like it had a cream and tarragon base, along with some mussels. The seafood works very well with the sauce, which almost makes it taste like you are eating a very rich seafood soup at times. Although we were nearly stuffed, we went ahead and had the white chocolate mousse with yuzu on top of a crumbled walnut brownie. The brownie has a quality akin to Dippin' Dots, which is to say that it's crumbled but still packs a decent amount of flavor. The mousse itself is done really well, so much so that I thought it was maybe yogurt or ice cream at first bite. Combined with the citrus goodness of the yuzu, and you have a very well-rounded dish right there.

It's hard to go wrong, it seems, at Manzanilla - every dish we had was fabulous. and not only that, but it was new and interesting, even though familiar ingredients were used. The space is very wide open and has a modern feel with touches of old-school elements (like incandescent light bulbs above the tables). You may have to share your seating with others, as there are numerous tables that are set up to be shared tables - but it's not a huge deal when you're focused on the savory food in front of you. No doubt I'll be walking down the block to eat here again!


With Manzanilla, Dani Garcia Tries to Sell New Yorkers on High-End Spanish

To those who wish to listen, New York City is a cacophony of echoes. On street corners, near subways, now-divorced couples repeat their first kisses in endless memory loops. Crime scenes leave unseen scars long after the blood’s been scrubbed clean. Every threshold is a goodbye, every stairway a stumble. Everything to do has been done everything new isn’t new at all. Stick around long enough and all you’ll hear are the echoes.

So there’s some amount of willful deafness that’s necessary to cutting it in the city. The longer you stay, the deafer you get. This is why kids who grow up in the city are intractable and sad, hipsters flee to Hastings-on-Hudson (supposedly) and new arrivals are so welcome and vital. One such recent immigrant is Dani Garcia, the well-regarded Spanish chef who opened Manzanilla earlier this year.

Mr. Garcia, 37, is highly regarded in his native Andalucía, where he runs a chain of high-end tapas bars called Lamoraga and a two-star Michelin restaurant called Calima that specializes in technique-driven modernist cuisine. His entry into the Big Apple is a cavernous, high-stakes “Spanish brasserie” in the Flatiron District called, perhaps with a wink, Manzanilla, which is Spanish for “little apple.”

Apparently Mr. Garcia has balls the size of his excellent squid-ink-and-cuttlefish croquettes with coriander and citrus aioli ($12) because, for an opening gambit, this one is a banger. It may be a small apple in the big scheme of things, but for a first-timer, this restaurant is huge. There are 150 seats spread out over two floors and 6,600 square feet. It should also be noted that Mr. Garcia has a sure hand in his partner, Yann de Rochefort of Boqueria and Suba.

Was it callowness or hubris, ignorance of precedent or arrogance of precedence that convinced Messrs. de Rochefort and Garcia that New York City would welcome an ambitious, high-end Spanish restaurant? If you’re attuned to echoes, Manzanilla brings back unwelcome ones. The names of short-lived top-tier Spanish places bear heavy on the mind, like lines from the Mourner’s Kaddish.

Graffit: אבר המש שדקתיו לדגתי

Romera: התוערכ ארב יד אמלעב

The reign of Spain falls mainly on the plain. If it can’t be speared by a toothpick and isn’t served in a cast-iron skillet, the prognosis is grim. So fancy Spanish food is a cuisine in need of a hero in a city hungry for saviors. As Cervantes wrote, “Hunger is the best sauce in the world,” so maybe Mr. Garcia’s quest isn’t so quixotic after all. Some windmills actually are giants.

On a recent Friday night, many of Manzanilla’s many seats were occupied by svelte sylphs, mignon MILFs, and men with hoary hair and hairy wrists. The space is divided in two. There’s a bar in the front, which, in the best way possible, reminds me of the Gramercy Tavern. It’s a classy place to belly up to and rarely reaches a fever pitch. Behind that, there’s a rather sprawling and somewhat troublingly club-like dining room with communal tables, booths and, you know, other normal tables.

The bar, when I first visited, was full of after-work folk, horny for the new meat in town. Few of them delved deeply into the impeccably curated wine list or into the numinous mysteries of life. “How stupid do you have to be not to know how to make a pivot table?” griped the beautiful woman next to me as her fleece-clad boyfriend drank a Hendrick’s martini, up and dirty.

How stupid do you have to be to order a Hendrick’s martini, I thought, when the cocktail list includes gin-based creations like The Sun Also Rises (NY Distilling Co. Dorothy Parker gin, Atsby Amberthorn vermouth, Baines Pacharan, $14) and other, better things, like a refreshing Albarino Garanbazan Verde 2011 ($14)? Additionally, the menu boasts a deep stable of pre-, intra- and postprandial sherries, a rarity in New York. (Manzanilla is a type of sherry.) Also, what the fuck is a pivot table?

Mr. Garcia’s menu seems like no great shakes. To anyone with even a passing knowledge of Spanish cuisine, the work of Simone Ortega or restaurants in general, it reads like a Now That’s What I Call Music! compilation of greatest hits. Tapas include pan con tomate—here called tomato tartare—and tortillita gaditana, which is a traditional Andalucían shrimp crisp. Octopi occupy the appetizers, obviously. For entrées, there’s suckling pig, black rice and bacalao. Cue the Gipsy Kings.

But—and I do love “Vamos a Bailar”—don’t be fooled. While the menu at Manzanilla may resemble the menu at La Nacional, that relic of Little Spain on 14th Street, Dani Garcia has two Michelin stars. That’s the same as David Chang’s Momofuku Ko and Matthew Lightner’s Atera. He ain’t serving paella!

Every cliché is a surprise, every assumption a wash. The shrimp crisp contains a kimchi kick. Those squid-ink-and-cuttlefish croquettes may look like bodega cochifritos, but when bitten into, they melt, thaw and resolve themselves into goo. Not that I knew—or that one needs to know—but they are a riff on a traditional cuttlefish stew from southern Spain. The détournement, in this case, is as follows: the cuttlefish is mixed with a Neptunian bechamel sauce, made with half milk and half mussel jus to impart a deep-sea flavor. The balls are panéed still frozen for maximal crunch and minimal grease. These croquettes shame all other extant croquettes and may be the best fried thing in the city.

Mr. Garcia has had practice with this dish at Calima, as he has had with many of Manzanilla’s standouts. Take the Pulpo à la Gallega ($13). Octopus is easy to scupper, but in Mr. Garcia’s hands, it arrives in a custom wooden cloche that, when opened, releases a puff of cherrywood smoke to reveal little piles of octopi atop blowtorched potato gnocchi made with Aji, a Peruvian pepper and lemon juice. The result is as tender and smoky as Billie Holiday singing “Strange Fruit.”

The bacalao ($27) is another one of his canon of great dishes. It’s an adaptation of a gazpachuelo, a traditional Andalucían fisherman’s soup made of leftover fish in a starchy broth. Mr. Garcia’s coup is in the translation. Here, the salt cod is fresh cod, salted (New Yorkers are no fans of the rubberiness of true bacalao). Instead of a stew, Mr. Garcia marinates the fish in a broth of dashi, bonito flakes, katsuobushi, peppers, yuzu and lemon juice. It’s then pan-seared and served atop a puree equal parts butter and cauliflower.

One needn’t know anything about The Old Man, the sea or his stew to appreciate the result: tranches of tender fish, the exhilarating emulsion of citrus and spice. Butter, of course, transcends time, space and culture.

Yet even as I gas on about how wonderful the food is—and I do think it is wonderful—I hear the words of critics past who lauded Ureña, Graffit and, to a lesser extent, Romera and reflect on how impotently those words stood by as those restaurants failed. I recall that Jesus Nuñez closed Graffit to open a folksy rustic Spanish place called Barraca, that Alex Ureña is cooking at a hotel in the Bahamas and that Miguel Sanchez Romera has retreated to the Terwilliker Institute, or to wherever failed neuroscientist chefs retreat.

To these echoes and ghosts, Dani Garcia is insensate. His ears are happily turned to the future, where the past isn’t prologue and where little apples do big things.


Making Sense of Sherry

Until, well, about 2013, sherry had gotten a bad rap as an oversweet digestif drunk by stiff-necked elders. That’s because we’ve been served the wrong kind. The pure (meaning no sugar added) manzanillas, finos, and amontillados are dry, complex wines that can hold their own in a big glass and be served with dinner – not just after dinner. “People have discovered that sherries, with their balance of acidity, saltiness, sweetness, and nuttiness, are incredibly versatile food wines,” says Patrick Cappiello, wine director of Pearl & Ash in New York City, which carries a number of top-notch sherries. These are distinctive and intricate wines that are higher in alcohol (15 to 20 percent) but also easy to drink. “They are complex and intense, but at the same time, there is an element of comfort with them,” says Cappiello.

Most sherries are made using the palomino white grape indigenous to Andalusia, in southern Spain. After fermentation, neutral spirits made from grapes are added to the wine to boost its alcohol level. There are many categories of sherry, but the two most versatile and widely available are fino and manzanilla. These are the driest, crispest kinds, thanks to a naturally occurring film of yeast, known as flor, that prevents oxidation, which would make them sweeter. They are also an excellent match for seafood because of a briny quality in the wines. Then there’s amontillado, a sherry aged under flor and then exposed to oxygen, so it has a slightly nutty character and a little more sweetness – just right for poultry and meat, as well as spicy foods. If you are looking for something richer, higher in alcohol – between 18 and 20 percent – and sweeter for, say, dessert, skip the “sweet sherry” brands (which have sugar or unfermented grape juice added) and pick up the naturally sweet Pedro Ximénez.

The list of possible food and sherry combinations is as long as any pairing menu you would find with other great dinner wines, but with sherry, simpler is frequently better. Take one of Cappiello’s favorite sherry pairings: olives, almonds, and amontillado. “It’s a magical combination,” he says.

Five Bottles to Try

Fino NV Emilio Hidalgo La Panesa Especial
Thanks to extended aging (15 years, versus three to five years for most finos), this is a unique sherry that is a solid choice to serve as a dinner wine. [$45]

AmontilladoEl Maestro Sierra
This sherry, from one of Spain’s most venerable houses, was aged 12 years, putting it at the savory end of the spectrum for the somewhat sweeter amontillados. [$29]

FinoTio Pepe
This is a light, easy-sipping sherry that makes an excellent aperitif. [$16]

Manzanilla NV Valdespino Manzanilla Deliciosa en Rama
A smooth, supremely elegant sherry, this manzanilla is aged five years and great for pairing with tapas or salty dishes. [$17]

Fino Equipo Navazos La Bota de Fino #35
A very mellow, graceful fino, this would be a good accompaniment to shellfish and other seafood. [$40]

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Manzanilla Opens in New York City - Recipes

Beat the crowds and make the most of your city break in La Manzanilla by renting a car. It's as easy as reserving online, stepping off the plane, and driving off. You'll have to go through passport control and show the nice people at the car rental desk your driver license too, of course, but you get the picture.

You don't need to get your head around any complicated public transportation systems - simply jump in your rental car and go. With our hotels in La Manzanilla you can find and compare the best prices for hotels with parking, so both you and your rental car will have somewhere to stay.

With Skyscanner you can choose the car you want, at a price you want. Simply tell us the dates of your trip and we'll show you what cars are available from a range of car rental companies in La Manzanilla. Whether you're looking for a cute convertible for a romantic break, a people-carrier for a stag outing, or a hatchback for a family trip, we'll show you the best deals available and help you to save money.

Once you've seen all the top sights that La Manzanilla has to offer, you can buckle up and go exploring. Drive through the countryside for a unique perspective on La Manzanilla, visit a nearby town without any hassle, or simply enjoy the feeling of the open road beneath your tires. Renting a car in La Manzanilla opens up a whole world of possibilities and takes the stress out of discovering new places.

With a rental car in La Manzanilla you don't need to worry about getting to and from the airport. There's no more panicking about missed connections: your rental car is ready when you are. Your journey will be stress-free as long as you remember to keep an ear on local traffic news, and leave plenty of time to reach the airport.


deviled eggs 8
white miso, japanese mustard, marinated salmon roe, chives

cucumber salad 8
miso-koji dressing, nori, roasted pine nuts, sesame seeds

karaage calamari 12
wasabi aioli, shichimi-lemon

sticky-soy garlic wings 8
crispy free range chicken wings with house signature sauce

nori fries 9
crinkle cut, ao-nori, sea salt
add japanese curry sauce 3

buffalo tofu fingers 9
dashi buttermilk ranch, chive

kakuni glazed pork ribs 14
fragrant slow cooked ribs, chives, tajin watermelon

fujimi crispy chicken skewer 9
soy-garlic & sake marinade, sweet & sour chili sauce, scallions

griddled jumbo carolina prawn skewer 14
thai shrimp-soybean paste, daikon pickle, sesame


Excellent Spanish food in the Flatiron

We'd like to thank you for lending us chef Dani García.

But you are going to have to pry him from our tortillita gaditana-covered fingers.

Because those diaphanous, olive-oil-fried shrimp crisps ($14) at García's brand-new Manzanilla in the Flatiron are shatteringly marvelous.

García is a legend back home in Spain, where his Michelin two-star restaurant, Calima, is closed during the winter. That cold-weather closure is a boon for Manhattan diners.

Styled as a "Spanish brasserie," Manzanilla has flash in spades. There's a punchy chevron floor, latticework recalling the Alhambra, and a diverse, exciting menu.

Dots of mango purée that resemble raw eggs grace cured tomato tartare ($8) in a play on the classic beef tartare presentation. Fathom the very inky depths of Bomba rice lacquered with squid ink ($26), and conclude that if a dish of glazed artichokes with barely poached eggs ($14) is any indication, Ibérico pork lardo does indeed improve everything

For dessert, vanilla rice pudding ($10) is made with milk that's slowly, repeatedly reduced for maximum lushness. Crested with a poof of cotton candy rimmed with freeze-dried raspberry powder, the rice pudding instantly induces smiles.


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