After our snack at Dominique Ansel, DLS and I met up with StB and C2 at Socarrat Paella Bar for dinner.
We started off with bacalao (salted codfish) croquettes. I thought these were alright, I wanted the aioli on the bottom to have a bit more oomph or even the croquette itself to have more punch to them. They were good – but just not a standout.
After reading Hungry’s post the week before about her experience at Soccarat, I wanted one thing: fried artichokes! Though I wished the portion were larger, it was just as tasty as I wanted it to be. I think I could eat a whole portion myself – crisp, slightly greasy so you still knew you were eating fried food, and pronounced artichoke taste. Yum.
StB was the only one of us who’d been here before (apologies for the horrible photos; my dSLR ran out of batteries before we arrived, so I had to make do with the point&shoot that I only happened to also be carrying), but we all wanted the same paella: the socarrat (normal) paella (we ordered for four). It’s hard to see, but there was a good mix of chicken, beef, sepia, shrimp, cuttlefish, mussels, cockle clams… I was pretty happy with the flavor of the paella. It was crunchy from the crust developing along the bottom of the pan, not wet like my paella at Cafe Espanol the week prior, and had tons of stuff to go along with it.
(Funny side story, DLS kindly served me first, and gave me a shrimp head… which I put on his plate immediately. He asked me why and I said “You gave me a shrimp head, no shrimp!” and he said oops. Obviously it was an accident, but I am not a huge shrimp eater anyway, so it was fine – I was just being goofy – but StB declined to allow C2 to serve her, citing what just happened, “When someone else serves you, you don’t get to determine what stuff you get on your plate!” Hahaha.)
Yvo says: Socarrat Paella Bar was a little cramped (make reservations!) though very accomodating (we had reservations for 2 that we changed to 4, and the hostess went out of her way to fit us in even though it was very crowded), and a really fun place to have dinner with friends. It’s not a small amount of food, though, so definitely take that into account – I’m glad we turned into a group of 4 else I’d barely be able to eat all the things I wanted to try! I’ll definitely go back – oh, and they own the recently-opened Churreria next door, which is also awesome. Actually, at the end of our meal, someone came around and gave us samples of freshly-fried churros, so we were happy and sated with the crisp fried dough. Yum!