Wednesday night I went to Socarrat Paella Bar in Chelsea, a restaurant that specializes in--(drum roll please) paella! I like paella a lot, but don't really eat it often, and never had any memorable paella in my life. So I was hoping this restaurant would do this Spanish dish justice.
I actually first went by myself to Socarrat last Saturday, but the host said that the paella is meant for two people, so I decided to come back with a friend. It is a narrow space with one long black communal bar for dining.
We decided to order one of the tapas they had, for we were told the paella takes 35 minutes to make. We went with the fried artichokes ($9). I really enjoyed the flaky texture and the lightness to them, although I wished the flavor of the artichokes came out more.
We decided to get the seafood paella ($23 a person), which came with chunks of fish, shrimp, cuttlefish, mussels, clams, squid, and scallops. I thought the seafood and the rice were well cooked and had a nice juiciness. Unfortunately the entire dish was extremely bland. Both my dining companion and myself thought the dish needed a lot of salt and some sort of kick to it. We were disappointed.
Will I give this place another chance? Maybe. I would consider trying another one of their paellas, maybe one with chorizo, that would give the dish the needed kick. But for $23 a person, it had better not be bland. I want a good bang for my buck!
Socarrat Paella Bar
259 W. 19th St. (bet. 7th and 8th)
New York, NY 10011