Midweek date night in New York City, and you are wondering if impressing your date entails burning a big hole in your pocket? I wouldn’t worry too much about it, if I were you. As it turns out, my latest find in the city’s boho-chic Chelsea district impressed me on many counts.
This little jewel, El Quijote New York, is tucked between a row of upscale stores in Chelsea (Manhattan), with an octogenerian who is still serving customers right from 1930. It sure sounds like the longest time ever, doesn’t it? I had read about the restaurant, and not one person had a bad thing to say about it……….. Only on checking it out did I know why! And that’s exactly what I love about cities like New York. There’s history, culture and meaning, everywhere I look.
We wanted to do dinner here on our anniversary, but given that Dear Hubby had an exam and got home real late, lunch the next day seemed like a better option. Getting off the train on 23rd street, a hot and sweaty 10-minute walk away toward Chelsea, we found El Quijote- and look who greeted us when we entered (no coats to hang- virtue of a hot summer’s day!)
The dimly lit restaurant was divided into two sections: the bar and the restaurant. From the outside, it didn’t appear as big!
Loved these ladies…their New York brunch and oh their city gossip! DH kept telling me not to eavesdrop – but oh well I am an inquisitive woman – they were loud and I am not one who is going to turn a deaf ear to interesting conversations.
Then for the food: a 70 something old guy came and handed us our menus. Old world charm I call it – especially for a city like New York!I definitely knew that I wanted their famous sangria – so what if it was afternoon! DH said he wouldn’t try their sangria but would stick to a beer – but guess what happened??? I had to share my sangria.
Their white sangria was wonderful for 16 bucks a pitcher! However, I was not really happy with the fruits in there – the apple was brown and that was enough to turn me off – fresh sangria and fresh fruits pleaseee!
They got us fresh warm bread along with golden mounds of butter – my sin! As a kid I hated butter- but now- it’s an indulgence I allow myself every opportunity I get!
For me paella is synonymous with Spanish food and it is my goal to find the best paella in every city I visit (except for Spain that is). A friend recommended I try the one at this restaurant, and that it was enough for 2 people – so we ordered it.
In true American style – you cannot just share food here – and so we were forced to order 6 bucks worth of greens (which I could very well make at home)…but somehow salads in restaurants are different and really entice me… Oh and we ate it off plastic plates!!
For 17 USD (without tax of course), their Paella Valenci (the seafood paella) was enough for more than 2 people. And left me with enough for the next day too! I shall not go into the texture of the rice or the flavour of the food – Let’s just say it was perfect!
It came in a big dish and he started serving us before I could get a picture…. But their simple white tableware allowed me to get nice pictures.
With no room for coffee, and DH having to rush to school, a few blocks away from here…we left totally sated!
Oh and just as I turned back, I saw the number of awards and accolades El Quijote had been awarded! All in all – a beautiful place to go on a date – be it lunch or dinner – and even though Dubai has spoiled me for choice, this slice of foodie’s paradise in Chelsea was more charming than anything the Palm Atlantis, Armani or the Burj al Arab can ever have on offer!
El Quijote New York was experienced and blogged by our Dubai and New York-based contributor Anthea Fernandes. Anthea writes regularly for UrbanEye.in sharing her favourite restaurants, boutiques, hotels and travel experiences across the globe. You can follow her on Twitter @antheasworld
Disclaimer: While we at UrbanEye.in are committed to providing the best quality photographs to illustrate our blogposts, sometimes, circumstances like dim lighting in restaurants do not always allow us to get the best photographs. In an attempt to provide authentic photographs, without having recourse to press shots, we chose to retain these images. We thank you for your understanding!