Saturday, March 22, 2008

El Pig Out

El Cid
322 15th St at 8th Ave (Chelsea)

Alexis: Tapas is great for a group of friends. Small plates of different things encourages a lot of interaction and plate-passing and makes for a family dinner-like atmosphere. I'm a big fan. For one of Audrey's last dinners in NY we convened at El Cid, located somewhere between Chelsea and the Meatpacking.

This spot makes up for its small size in the form of delicious, flavorful food. Great authentic Spanish tapas - we were definitely lucky to score a last-minute reservation on a Friday night. Three kinds of sangria are available - red, rose and white. The menu offers mostly tapas but there are some delicious main dishes also. Stepping inside was like being in another country - very homey, very simple. All the food was great, from the cold/hot tapas to the grilled steak with red cabbage entree we all shared.

Albondigas - traditional meatballs made with veal and beef
Gambas al Ajillo - shrimp in garlic sauce
Ensaladilla Rusa - super garlicky potato salad with homemade mayo and olives
Jamon Serrano - Spain's version of Prosciutto di Parma

I really wish I could've kept eating. But I always save room for dessert. We had the traditional flan, which came with a scoop of fresh whipped cream, as well as a mocha flavored version that was soft and creamy. The dessert special was a sherry-spiked zabaglione with fresh berries.

Will definitely be back. I'd advise reservations - the place fills up fast.

Alex: I enjoyed this place a lot. It is very unassuming and cozy inside. I was a little scared because the menu is heavy on the seafood, but luckily there were plenty of meat eaters in the crew. My favorites were the Meatballs, Croquettes, and the Steak. I guess its the German in me, but I was the only one who gobbled down the Red Cabbage. I tried the Mussels in Vinaigrette which wasn't too bad because the vinaigrette covered up a lot of the fishy taste. I stayed super far away from the Paella and shrimp dishes though. Baby steps.

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