Last weekend I went to a Spanish tapas restaurant I have been wanting to go to for a while; Casa Mono. It was conceived by chef Andy Nusser and is one of Mario Batali's restaurants as well, so I expected a high quality experience.
The restaurant is not huge. It's a small box of a restaurant with a bar counter overlooking an open kitchen as well as a real bar in the back. I took a seat by the bar at the open kitchen and was excited to have this dinner and a show.
I ordered a special Langoustine entree ($18), a Duck Egg entree ($16), as well as a Cuarto of a nice Spanish wine called Vinos Pinol ($16).
The Langoustine entree came over a bed of some greens and fava beans, and drizzled with a nice helping of olive oil. It basically was a really lovely salad which I enjoyed immensely for it was simple and clean, yet tasted good. I will say that it wasn't easy getting all the meat out of the two langoustines, but the meat I did get out was tender and juicy.
My Duck Egg entree came with Mojama and potatoes. The plate came out with the duck egg resting neatly on a bed of the potatoes, with the mojama (thin slices of tuna) balanced on the side. It was a very pretty plate that I was about to destruct. I cracked the yolk and let it run all over the plate and devoured everything. I truly loved this dish for everything complimented each other perfectly and was extremely delicious! I would say that this duck egg entree is one my favorite and most memorable dishes I have ever encountered.
In fact after my dinner at Casa Mono, it has become one of my favorite restaurants in NYC. I love the open kitchen, it really adds to the dining experience, and the atmosphere is very comfortable. Casa Mono has all the qualities of a great restaurant and I highly recommend it. Also note, since the place is not that large, they have wine bar right next door called Bar Jamon, which is also a great place to grab a glass of wine and a plate of ham. (My first time at Bar Jamon I had a great bottle of wine and Jimmy Fallon bought me a plate of ham!)
52 Irving Place (at 17th Street)
New York, NY 1003