Socarrat Paella Bar in Chelsea is an amazing Spanish restaurant that serves all the classic foods from all the Spanish regions. They serve a large array of tapas and paellas. The restaurant is slightly small and always full. It is dark, but great for family dinner or dinner with a large group because there is a large table for groups. It is also good for just a small group because there are tables for two and four. There is a communal table, bar seating, and individual tables. The space has exposed brick and pictures hanging on the walls. Socarrat is named this for that delicious, crunchy, flavorful crust that forms on the bottom of a paella pan when it is well cooked.
The Socarrat restaurants are the second restaurant venture of Chef Jesus Manso, who also started and owns La Nacional. Socarrat specializes in traditional tapas, which are a type of entrées eaten in Spain before a late dinner. They traditionally go to one restaurant for the best tapas they offer there and then go to the next one and so on. The restaurant also serves and focuses on paellas. In Spain each region has a version of Paella, which started in Valencia. They used what ingredients they had in that region. They have many choices of both.
The food is so delicious. If you want to try a Spanish restaurant and you are in New York go to Socarrat Paella Bar in Chelsea. There are so many tapas to choose from, which makes it hard to decide which one to pick. A popular dish is the Patatas Bravas, which are white potatoes cut into cubes and then fried. Then, it is served with a mouthwatering spicy tomato sauce and a creamy mayonnaise and garlic aioli. In Spain there are not a lot of spicy foods, so this is considered one of the spicier foods, but for the average palate it is not considered very spicy. An exceptional Paella was the Paella Socarrat. It included chicken, beef, squid, shrimp, basa fish, cuttlefish, mussels, clams, and green beans. It was so crunchy and delicious. The seafood was so fresh and well cooked making the fish soft and everything else so flavorful. Once you are almost done the attentive and helpful server will take the shovel shaped serving spoon to scrape the socarrat off the bottom of the pan. The paella is sold by the serving, which means you can get one serving of many different types of Paella. The restaurant is a very relaxed environment that had delicious food for lunch, brunch, and dinner with different menus for all meals. I heard that the Chelsea store has better service and food compared to some of the other Socarrat stores. Definitely try this restaurant, you will not regret it.