Sunday, August 19, 2007
A couple of years ago, my friend and co-worker Dan invited an industry friend and me to join him for dinner at Babbo, Mario Batali's flagship restaurant in New York. It was the meal of a lifetime and I wrote about it here.
Earlier this year, we were in New York together again and dined at another restaurant that Batali is a partner in, Casa Mono. This is a tapas restaurant, whose birth is described in the book Heat. Chef Andy Nusser wanted to create a Barcelona-style taverna.
Since it's been some months, my memory of the specific dishes we enjoyed is not as sharp as when I wrote about Babbo. But all of the ten or twelve plates we had were exquisite.
I remember chipirones, tiny little squid served with white beans, duck egg with potatoes, broiled mushrooms, razor clams, skirt steak with an onion melange. If you don't love garlic and salt, stay away!
Of course, they have a fantastic wine list, and while certainly not inexpensive, Dan chose a couple of Spanish wines that were better than any I had enjoyed, both under $100. Most of the plates are in the $11-15 range. So an expansive dinner such as we had does add up. But alternatively, a couple could have four plates and a glass of wine each and get out for $100 including tax and tip. For this quality of dining in Manhattan, that's a deal.