Living in uptown NY sometimes feels like I’m in a different world than the village. When I get the chance to go downtown, everything just feels so chill. After taking the subway for 40 minutes, I arrived at the street of Pata Negra – E 12th street, close to 1st avenue. My friend suggested this place because he has been there four times over the summer, since the food and the atmosphere were both fantastic.
Pata Negra is a small restaurant. There are about 8 tables in total, some can fit up to 6 people while some only two. All of them are high tables – which i adore. We had a reservation and took our seats next to the door.
The place is popular but not popular to the extent that you have to wait in line outside the door on a weekend night. When we were eating there on a Saturday night, all tables were filled. The waitress is a girl who goes to NYU, she is lovely and very friendly. She recommended a wine which she said was her boyfriend’s favorite, and offered us to taste it before ordering a glass. In case anyone wants to ask for this wine, here’s the label! Sangria is also a popular choice here, but after tasting it I thought it was very average and a little watered down, so I decided on red wine instead.
I let my friend ordered since he’s the expert at this place. We got the ham – named after the restaurant “Pata Negra” – that almost every table ordered. It came with a few pieces of bread. The ham was delicious and they were quite generous with the amount (i mean, for 40 dollars, they should be). The bread soon ran out.. Also this spanish restaurant does not give out free bread at the beginning of the meal, like many other restaurants.
Other than the ham, we got the Octopus which was the special at the time, as well as asparagus. The octopus was the most delicious thing I had had in a long time. It bursted with flavors and was so tender. I really hate it when octopus is really hard to chew on and swallow. But this octopus can be easily cut into pieces. I can’t say enough good things about this dish. It’s a must try!!
And the asparagus was, well, asparagus. So nothing too special there. It did come with two pieces of cheese, which I thought was a bit random as they did not really blend in with the vegetables.
The portion size for some of the food here was pretty small besides the ham, so the two of us did not feel as full after our three dishes. We ended up ordering 1 more dish to satisfy ourselves. Gambas al Ajillo – or shrimp with garlic. This is also HIGHLY recommended for any person who loves shrimp and loves garlic. The base of the dish comes with a lot of garlic soaked in oil. I’m a huge fan of garlic so it was perfect for me, but for people who don’t like garlic, don’t order it.
In all, Pata Agra is a chill little place for a date night or a friends night out. And definitely ask for the octopus specia
Pata Negra Spanish Tapas & Wine Bar