After spending two weeks in Spain a few years ago, I became obsessed with Spanish food. Now, I’m am always on the hunt for authentic tapas, paella, and any other traditional Spanish dishes I can find in Manhattan. So I happily accepted an invitation to try brunch at Socarrat, a paella bar with three locations in Manhattan.
When my boyfriend, Dana, and I arrived, the restaurant had just a few patrons on the first floor, and none on the second floor, where we were seated. While I loved having the entire upstairs to ourselves, I was a bit nervous that the space was so empty during prime brunch hour.
We put our worries aside and started with a round of drinks; a margarita for Dana and a dark and stormy for me. Both drinks were executed well and served as a great starting point for what we hoped would be a delicious meal.
There’s no shortage of food options on the brunch menu — with a slew of main dishes, 10 different tapas and almost as many varieties of paella — but with the help of our friendly server, we were able to make a selection.
Per our server’s recommendation, we ordered two of the paellas and the huevos a la flamenco, a dish from the entree section of the menu.
To our surprise—and delight— our server also brought out an order of the croquettas, along with the apple pancakes.
The croquetas were crisp on the outside and filled with a creamy, flavorful sauce. We quickly devoured these tasty snacks as we sipped on our drinks and eagerly awaited the rest of our meal.
The pancakes and the Huevos a la Flamenca came out next, and both were decadent and delicious. Made with caramelized apples, crème fraiche, honey, blueberries, and strawberries, the pancakes were a light, fluffy, and delicious surprise. Neither of us prefers sweet brunch dishes, but these fluffy flapjacks impressed us both.
The Huevos a la Flamenca, a baked egg casserole with chorizo, potatoes, artichokes, fava beans, tomato sauce, and costini bread, were equally mouth watering. This dish was packed with flavor and balanced out our other sweet entree.
For our second round of drinks, we both ordered a glass of sangria. Dana went with a glass of red, and I chose the rosé-flavored option, because I’ve never seen it before and am a huge rosé fan. We ended up sharing both drinks and decided the rosé version was the favorite.
Last but not least, our two paellas arrived. Both looked almost too good to eat, and they tasted even better. The carne paella is made with short ribs, chicken, chorizo, mushroom sofrito, and snow peas, and the dulce paella, one of two brunch paellas, includes mushroom sofrito, ribs, dates, almonds, and caramelized walnut chunks. Both were topped with baked eggs.
Dana, a meat lover, preferred the carne paella, while I couldn’t get enough of the dulce one, which, again, was surprising given I typically prefer savor brunch dishes over sweet ones.
While the paellas were too big for the two of us to finish, especially given all the other food we ate, we thoroughly enjoyed every last bite. Both dishes were flavorful, filling and felt authentically Spanish.
The Bitches say: A. From the tapas to the paella, Soccarat provides authentic Spanish dishes. The drinks were strong and refreshing, and the staff was friendly and came prepared with recommendations.
Socarrat serves brunch on Saturday and Sunday form 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.