Pata Negra (East Village, Spanish winebar, tapas)
On lovely, sunny days, there's nothing I love more than grabbing some sangria and great tapas at Pata Negra. As soon as you step in past the red curtains and cute pig mosaic sign up front, it's like entering an oasis of calm and I really feel like I'm transported back to Spain. Barcelona is one of my favorite cities in the world and I constantly miss it so visiting Pata Negra is like visiting an old friend.
The Decor: (9.5/10)
Pata Negra is located on a really quiet block in the East Village on 12th Street between 1st and 2nd Ave. It's tiny (about 7 tables) but that's just about perfect. The entire bar feels very intimate and is quiet enough to actually talk easily. I've done a bunch of brainstorming sessions here and could easily consider this my extra conference room. On sunny days, the door is left open so the breeze carries through the entire room and makes the candles flicker.
The Food: (8.5/10)
This is really much more of a winebar than a restaurant but the fact that the bar is named after the black pigs of Spain (translation: jamon iberico which is definitely going to be one of the items in my last meal) earns it extra points.
Sangria ($7) - I love the sangria here but it's super potent so beware! 2-3 glasses typically leaves you in a very happy mood :) There's also a great selection of Spanish wines.
Jamon Serrano ($12) - Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, and jamon in all its shapes and forms are some of my favorite things? If you've never tried jamon before, please go get some. NOW.
Empanadas of the day ($7) - Delicious and filling. This one was filled with thin sausages and cheese.
Campesino: Pork loin (lomo) and garrotxa cheese with garlic (mojo) spread ($5): Salty, creamy small bites
Gambas al ajillo (shrimp with Garlic) - $10. One of my favorite tapa - really garlicky, great olive oil to be scooped up with bread and sweet shrimp. I really need to make this at home at some point.
Summary and More info:
I don't go more than a few weeks without visiting Pata Negra so can't recommend it highly enough for happy hours, dates, hanging out with friends or most other occasions.
Address: 345 E 12th St (between 1st and 2nd Ave)