13 October 2010

A NYC Discovery: Bar Carrera

Something said to look inside

Manzanilla Sherry was the give away

Not sure what the pinball machine is all about

Never tell a woman from Brooklyn you love bullfights

A convert to Mazanilla

The order form

The picks

The favorite - Egg in a Blanket

Wine list

He really liked the Manzanilla

Cava rose with dinner

I could live off this picture

Luisa & Manzanilla

I'm told this is a fashion blog

Caught putting this under my jacket on the way out

I discovered Bar Carrera on 2nd Avenue. No NY foodie turned me onto it. No NY Times review. Nada. I found it and I'll tell you how. It is a rare thing to see Manzanilla Sherry on a restaurant menu. I'm not sure why. It's perfect with olives, warmed almonds and white anchovies. And it's cheap. Trad isn't cheap but Trad is a good value and Carrera is that.

Everywhere in NYC there are adorable restaurants, usually in midtown, with charming bistro tables, beautiful facades and they almost all suck. Not only do they suck but they're overpriced. What an insult. Now, I was thrown by the pinball machine but hang with me for a minute. Which is about how long it took to get our starters.

We were early. 5:30PM or so. It was empty. Not much cooking with nuts, olives and anchovies but that's the beauty of Spanish Tapas. White anchovies with Manzanilla Sherry is like having sex on a beach. A little messy but you'll never forget it. Munching warmed Marcona almonds is like drying off afterwards. Soft and salty and rich. I love olives but Carrera seemed to have procured theirs from my father's bar.

Tables are shared - at least the best ones - and while I'm usually not a fan of shared tables or wandering musicians - our neighbors had just returned from 12 days in Spain. Wonderful people. I turned him onto the Manzanilla and told her I loved bullfights. One and outta two ain't bad.

The Foxtrot ordered the egg in a blanket and, quite frankly, I haven't come up with a sex act to compare it to. It was that amazing. Serrano ham, Manchego cheese and an egg drizzled in truffle oil and baked in a brioche. It was the best thing on the menu...

Followed by the Jamon and Mozzarella combination plate. Crusty bread is included but I think it gets in the way. The pork belly was good but fat is lost at Carerra when everything else is so clean and bright. The $40 Cava was a steal but the $8 a glass Manzinilla adds up fast. I lost count and I think our waitress Luisa did as well.

Luisa suggests you come early. Things start 'happening' here around 9PM and when things get 'happening' - it's time for me to leave and find a beach. Check Carerra out for yourself. 175 Second Avenue. Across the street from the loudest squeaking door in New York.


Patsy said...

Is this in the East Village? My sister used to live on E11th.

This is going on the NYC restaurant bucket list.

Anonymous said...

"I'm told this is a fashion blog." That's pretty good. You caught a nice moment with that couple in the "pinball" shot. And it looks like you're starting to hang with old guy hipsters. But it looks like they all have the right place. In Spain I was always caught off guard finding a stuffed piglet in a butcher's or restaurant's window. Until I went to Morocco...

You'll have to follow up your next visit with a rental of the hilariously bad "Jamon, Jamon".


Genuine Lustre said...

Love your final caption. : )

Belle de Ville said...

I would love to find a tapas bar like this in LA.
After spending quite a lot of quality time in the heart of Sherry country in Rota Spain, where my brother is the CO, I have a huge appreciation for Fino and tapas. I will be sad when my brother has his command change next year.

Anonymous said...

'La Gitana' is a very fine aperitif, but I believe you may find that manzanilla is not technically a sherry. Wrong side of some river, that sort of anal European stuff. Sorry. I know you care, though.


Anonymous said...

Tell the woman from Brooklyn about the autobiography of Sydney Franklin,'A bullfighter from Brooklyn." He was a pal of Hemingway's.

Trailer Trad said...

There are times during the Great Thanksgiving Dinner of Life that you realize that you should be sitting at the 'kiddie table.'

-Can I at least have some crayons?

NCJack said...

Reason for a pinball machine? You don' need no stinkin' reason for a pinball machine!

Main Line Sportsman said...

Powdered olive oil? What..is that like what the Astronauts use? Puzzling...I know Chefs are drying all kinds of stuff these days...but powdered olive oil...
Now, that egg concoction is a fastball right down the middle of the plate..order a deuece...

tintin said...

Patsy- That's the one.

DB - I don't hang with old guys. Or young guys. I'm hung but don't hang.

Lustre- Those horns hurt.

Belle- Get. Out. Of. L.A.

Fatfriend- I don't give a shit where it's from. I love the stuff.

Anon- Was he the North American who painted with bull's blood?

Trailer Trad- You want the box with the sharpner?

The Sluice Box said...

That menu looks like it's right out of Madrid or Barcelona. I've been waiting for something like that to appear in Northern California, a region I'm curious about whether you judge less harshly than the state's southern region.


Anonymous said...

Silly old me, with my traditional views about accuracy and provenance...


Gregorius Mercator said...

This place looks great but I'm a little disappointed not to see Tortilla de Patatas on there - that was my favorite when I studied in Salamanca.

Thanks for bringing back some fond memories. I'll definitely have to check this place out.

tintin said...

Sluice - Loove northern Cal and the folks in it.

Fatfriend- My apologies. See this:


A nice summary of location, tradition and the unique nature of Manzanilla. A steal in the US going for less than $10.

Greg- Difficult to replicate time and place but Carerra is a gem. I just wish I could bring my own Manzanilla.

Anonymous English Female said...

Looks good. The Manzanilla sounds much better than the Harvey's Bristol Cream which is the standard offering where I come from...