To find my next dining destination, I turned to a little site I like to call Eating With Ziggy. While browsing the site I noticed the following 3 things: I haven’t eaten anything in the Lower East Side for a while; I haven’t eaten tapas in a while; My fonts are terrible; and my tagline “Eating Well Spelling Poorly” makes no sense whatsoever since I use a spell checker. Ok, that was 4 things. It was 3 when I started writing the sentence I promise you that. So I figured its time to eat something in the Lower East Side, and make it tapas. And as to the terrible fonts? Well, that’s your problem! I don’t read the stuff, just write them.
Although I have a list of new restaurants to try that’s almost as big as my Netflix cue (one of those words I hate spelling properly, like “tho”), I tend to sometimes ignore the list and look elsewhere for much added excitement. This time I looked at the newly released Michelin Bib Gourmands. Or “Baby Michelin Stars” if you will, given for quality cheap(er) eats. And I noticed a place that somehow slipped through my radar, Cata. Coupled that with an endorsement from Kathryn off Chowhound and off we went.
While taking a closer look I noticed Cata was Alta’s sister, a place we enjoyed in the past. And like many of my friends and coworkers, Cata owners are big fans of 4 letter words looks like. I suggest Nada for the next one (private joke for my Providenciales friends)
An array of Gin and tonic drinks is one of the specialties here… I liked the Kaffir Lime one. While Mrs Ziggy would not even look at the rest of the menu once she sees her Aperol Spritz. She gets up and does the Macarena from excitement – starting to get embarrassing, for her. The food menu is much better organized than Alta which is one giant list.
So is Cata short for Catalonia or Catastrophe? Lets see..
Baked Cana Cebra – Goat cheese with honey. Quite good. Perhaps not as good as Alta version with lavender infused honey but quite good
Deviled Eggs with fried oysters – Very tasty, if not a tad on the salty side.
Quail Egg Bendecits with chorizo, hash browns (top picture) – Another nice dish. Pretty to look at too. Wife much preferred this over the deviled but the opposite was true for me. So far so delicious
Mushrooms with shallots, red wine – I got to have my mushrooms (especially since she doesn’t eat them) and this did not disappoint.
Tuscan Kale – With Parmigian thin “crisps”. Simply grilled and tasty. Wife liked this one especially
Long Island Razor Clams – Cant pass on fresh razor clams. The one must coming in. Simple, “Meaty”, a tad chewy and absolutely delicious overall
Gambas al Ajillo – One of the best dishes of the night. 4 jumbo perfectly cooked shrimp. I prefer this dish more garlicky but this was tasty nonetheless. I still haven’t found something similar to the Gambas al Ajillo that we had in Ramiro in Lisbon if anyone familiar. Where readers? Where can I have these beauties?
Jamon Iberico Bellota – I asked if they can bring a little sampler instead of the $27 full plate of it and they did for I believe $10. This tasted just fine to me. Not something I would order again. This is some of the finest Jamon Iberico on the planet, made from pigs eating only acorns (Bellota) as their last meals on earth. Coincidentally, this was my wish as well
Skirt Steak – Good, a little uninspiring but good. This is perhaps a good time to complain that it was a little hard to read that menu with dimmed lighting as I initially didn’t see the “Add: Organic farm egg $2”. I would definitely add the egg here.
Charcuteir Board – lard toasts were fine, jamon Serrano we didn’t get due to the Bulotta, Chorizo we didn’t care for – not much flavor. The best part of the board by far were the Almonds. Perhaps this is the only miss of the evening
Torrija – Excellent! Like the crème brule and bread pudding had a baby. A beautiful, delicious baby.
Terrific meal overall