Gastroarte, NYC

May 22, 2012

Linda and I returned to this ambitious restaurant on March 28, 2012. In February 2011 we had enjoyed the inventive, well-executed, Spanish cuisine of chef Jesús Núñez shortly after the restaurant opened.

We started with glasses of Masachs Cava while we looked at the menu. The starters are a wide selection under the heading of tapas. One can make a meal of them or go on, as we did, to larger main courses.

Our first tapas plate was
creamy Serrano ham croquettes

These were crisp, hot and light with a delicate Serrano ham flavor that went well with our cava.

We then had a bottle of 2005 Allende Rioja.

This 100% tempranillo wine was suberb. 

Our second tapas plate was
garbanzo beans – bacalao – spinach

This traditional Castilian dish requires starting preparation a day in advance, soaking the salt cod and chickpeas. They are stewed with chopped spinach in a hearty broth flavored with paprika which is thickened at the end with a purée of its onions, carrots and part of the chickpeas. We enjoyed this good hearty peasant food which was a big contrast from the first tapas which were quite delicate.

Linda’s main course was
parsnips – figs – cranberries – sage

She said that the parsnip purée and chunks, and the touches of figs and cranberries were very good.  The lamb was nicely done, but lacked flavor, leaving her wishing she had ordered more tapas. The other meat courses on the menu seemed to be quite rich and, while tempting, Linda had not felt like having one of those for this meal.

My main was
squid – beef oxtail – artichoke – Ibores cheese

Here we have a mix of ingredients which are typically Spanish, but which are not usually combined. The different textures were as much a part of the fun as the flavors. The squid was very crisp; the small artichokes firm; the goat cheese unctuous; the oxtail rich. Underneath was rice in a tomato sauce. I found the flavors to be complementary and enjoyed the imaginative dish.

The noise in the dining room had become oppresive and so we did not have cheese or dessert despite our memories of excellent desserts the last time.

The cuisine was interesting and enjoyable. The service was always friendly and good. While the croquetas came quickly and got us started well, the pace slowed down after that. The acoustics in this dining room are terrible and it was difficult to converse while we waited. I hope that the talented chef can find a new location.

To see our meal here in February, 2011, when the restaurant was called Graffit, click here.
(The name had to be changed due to a conflict with an established restaurant named Graffiti.)

2 Responses to “Gastroarte, NYC”

  1. john howell Says:

    Sounds and looks wonderful. Putting my gourmet boots on to go and sample that Spanish cuisine.

    • Henry Says:

      Your enticing review led us to Gastroarte Saturday night. The room was pleasant and surprisingly quiet. The food was quite variable, from the outstanding egg or osso buco to the edible mojhito desert which was a disaster. Based upon your descriptions, they seem to be simplifying things a bit, i.e. no amuse, presentations, ordinary bread, . But the highs were so high that we will give it a second try. If the level of quiet we experienced was representative, we hope you will give it another try as well.

      Much thanks, as always, for your postings.

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