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Best Tapas West Side - NYC

Best Tapas West Side - NYC

Manhattan's West Side is one of the hottest tapas scenes in the entire City.

The millennial set, as well as families with kids, adore the fact that Tapas are made from fresh ingredients, like Mediterranean seasonings, veggies and seafood. If something tastes good and is also good for you, then that's a definite plus. The Mediterranean diet has been working it's magic for generations of Spaniards, Greeks, Portuguese and Italians. Now, we can add America's  foodies to the mix.

Bodega 88 - West Side

This Upper West side mainstay is a fun place to just hang out, watch your favorite team play on one of their widescreen TV's  and enjoy a couple of drinks along with some very delicious tapas plates.

Sleek and sexy comes to mind when describing the decor. The place is not super big, but there's room enough to move around.  The bar area is accommodating and it attracts a chill, friendly neighborhood crowd. Everyone has a good time but nobody gets rowdy or out of hand.

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The best seats in the house, though, are the comfy booths that line the wall opposite the bar.The overhead light fixtures that are shaped like multi-hued globes add to the charming ambiance. Your date won't be disappointed if you schedule some quality time here for the two of you.

They have a very nice selection of adult beverages, from bottled and draught beers to imported reds and whites. But where the bar really excels is at making a fantastic cocktail.
The Cucumber cooler is extremely popular, especially when the weather turns warm.  This elixir consists of crop cucumber vodka, fresh green grapes, St. Germaine, lime juice and a splash of Seltzer.  The Pomegranate Mojito and Pisco Sour are also on the regular's list of top ten drinks in the neighborhood.

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Bodega 88's kitchen has some tasty treats in store that will satisfy just about any appetite.

If you are a tacos fan, you will enjoy their Salsa verde shrimp creation as well as the Pernil which comes with a refreshing citrus mojo.  Empanadas make for a great bar bite and they've got some good ones on order here like the chipotle chicken, the spinach, and manchego cheese as well as the Domino, a blend of black bean puree and queso blanco.

Under the Caliente section of he menu, you'll find some delicious Dominican-style tapas. The Chimichurri fries are drenched in green chimichurri sauce and manchego cheese.  You will also savor the Mofonguitos, which are crispy plantain cups filled with beef, shrimp or chicken, together with special sauce and seasonings.

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There are only two desserts on the menu but they are both outstanding.  The Vanilla flan is authentic and addicting while their chocolate dulce de leche cake is to die for!
Just order one of each and share for maximum enjoyment.

Location and Hours

573 Columbus Avenue
New York, NY 10024
(212) 799-1602
www.bodega88nyc.com

Hours
Monday to Thursday  11 AM to 1 AM
Friday and Saturday 11 AM to 2 AM
Sunday              11 AM to 12 AM

Ella Kitchen and Bar - West Side

Cozy and intimate, Ella Kitchen and Bar makes for a great date place. Whether you and your significant other are in the mood for a lazy morning brunch or a romantic dinner over tapas and wine, make sure that you enter their address and contact info into your phone. You won't regret it.

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Located within walking distance of Lincoln Center and Central Park, Ella Kitchen and Bar adds outdoor cafe-style seating for your enjoyment during the Spring and Summer. Enjoying a plate of tapas outside in the sunshine, without a care in the world? Now, that's really living like a true Mediterranean!

Come with a party of friends and family. Get into the spirit of things and be social. Enjoy your food at one of their long communal tables. Let the laughter, conversation and, of course, wine flow freely.

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Ella's refined kitchen presents you with elevated tapas plates. They have many dishes that are unique to their chef and his stalwart team.
The Guacamole Tartare has Greek influences. this dish is made from only the finest Hass avocados, cucumbers, red onions, sumac as well as feta cheese and Kalamata olives.
The Ella Empanadas are filled with spinach, corn, manchego and cotija cheese along with a chipotle aioli. Here, even that old-school tapas bar staple, potatoes bravas are something special. Fresh, hand-cut wedges of potatoes are dressed with harissa, parsley and chipotle aioli.

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Other menu must-haves are the spiced beef and lamb meatballs in tomato sauce, the smoky and crispy Brussels sprouts, Galician-style octopus and the wild mushrooms in a sauce of garlic, rosemary and white wine.

Hungry for something a bit more substantial? Then order one of their signature "tapas" burgers on a house-baked Brioche bun. All burgers come with a side of greens and fries. The burger that has everyone in the area talking is the "Drunken Mushroom". Your burger is a special Pat La Frieda blend with melted mozzarella and mushrooms that are sauteed in red wine and Cognac.

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Location and Hours

249 Columbus Avenue
New York, NY 10023
(212) 579-9929
www.ellakitchenbar.com

Hours
Monday to Thursday  11 AM to 11 PM
Friday              11 AM to 12 AM
Saturday            9 AM to 12 AM
Sunday              9 AM to 10 PM

Andanada - West Side

Michelin-starred chef Manuel Berganza has created a menu of tapas, as well as delicious paellas, that will take you on a culinary journey through the various regions of his native Spain.
Andanada provides an authentic, as well as entertaining dining experience, one that will have you returning to these welcoming environs again and again.

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The name of the restaurant refers to the highest seating area in the bullfighting arena. One of the walls at Andanada is painted with a huge, colorful mural that depicts scenes from Spain, including a bull in the arena, as well as various street scenes.

Chef Manuel has a knack for staying true to time-honored tapas recipes while also managing to add his own distinctive signature to these flavorful dishes. It's no wonder that local residents are always curious as to what new dishes they will find on Andanadas' menu.

Probably one of the most intriguing tapas on the menu is the  Huevos Rellenos, which is composed of eggs that are stuffed with lobster salad and pieces of Iberico ham. Calamari Andalusian style, Grandma's creamy ham croquettes and fried Navarro artichokes that are dusted with grated manchego cheese are other dishes that you will relish.

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At Andanada, brunch is a very special occasion, indeed. Every Sunday, Brunch features a special menu of tapas and entrees including chef's delicious potato waffle with broken eggs and Serrano ham.  
There is also quite an array of paellas to choose from including the Mariscos, a tasty blend of monkfish, brunch ?shrimp, calamari and mussels over yellow rice and Carne, a hearty portion of rice, red peppers, string beans, artichokes, chistorra, pork belly and chicken.

But as stupendous as chef's food is, that's not really the main event at brunch. From 12 to 2 PM, all brunch-goers will be enthralled by a live show featuring Flamenco dancing and a band. Come on, you do not want to miss this. Make your reservations now.

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Location and Hours 

141 West 69th street
New York, NY 10023
(646)  692-8762
www.andanada141.com

Hours
Monday to Thursday 5 PM to 11 PM
Friday             5 PM to 12 AM
Saturday           11 AM to 12 AM
Sunday             11 AM to 11 PM

Calle Ocho  -  West Side

Waiting all week for that first brunch? Love Sangria, but find that most tapas bars overcharge for this magical drink and, it ends up disappointing you after the first sip or two. Well, fear not, chef-owner Jorge "Georgie" Adriazola has got you covered at Calle Ocho, a popular West Side tapas style restaurant that sets trends instead of following the leader.

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The proud grandson of  Peruvian-Italians, Chef Jorge came to New York with a strong work ethic and a dream. After having worked in some of the city's finest restaurants, including the famed Sushi Samba, Jorge decided that the time was right to try something a little different.  
At Calle Ocho, Chef Georgie isn't attempting to re-invent the wheel. His philosophy is to give his valued customers quality food at reasonable prices amidst a very classy ambiance.

The tapas menu here features a mouth-watering selection of ceviches. The Hondureno features Ahi tuna, a coconut-lime mojo and pickled jalapenos. The traditional Peruvian ceviche. Langosta, is made with poached lobster, grapefruit, scallions and cilantro.  But, it's the passion fruit-Thai chili mojo that elevates this dish to four stars.

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Chef's ceviche mixto (salmon, tomato, sliced Mojarra, and tuna fish in a ginger- lime mojo is also worthy of your attention.

As far as the small plate portion of the menu goes, you will find something delicious to suit every taste.  The Arepa ( sweet corn cake) comes with a creole salad. Everyone, from kitchen staff to customers are in love with the Datiles, a plate filled with bacon wrapped, almond stuffed dates together with hearts of palm.

Now, let's get to that long-anticipated brunch.  Yes, it's true, complimentary sangria is served during the course of your meal. Of course, there is a time limit, which you will have to ask your server about. But let's just say, that you will have more than enough time in which to enjoy it.

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And we are talking premium sangria here, not some watered down mess that tastes more like your kid's fruit drink, but spiked.
There are eight sangria blends to choose from. Red offerings include the Spanish Harlem with dark rum, cinnamon, peaches and Mandarin oranges. The Samba Sangria is made with Veev Acai liqueur, brandy and fresh blueberries.
The best of the white sangrias would be the Tropical. This blend of light rum, oranges, pineapple and mangoes is uplifting and refreshing.

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To take advantage of this deal you have to order an entree. But considering how good everything is on the menu; that's no sacrifice at all.
Keep an eye out for the signature Calle Ocho omelet on the menu. It is a traditional country omelet filled with mushrooms and goat cheese. Specially seasoned Latin home fries complete your dish.

Location and Hours

45 West 81st street (In the Excelsior Hotel )
New York, NY 10024
(212) 873- 5025
www.calleochonyc.com

Hours
Monday to Thursday  6 PM to 10:30 PM
Friday              6 PM to 11:30 PM
Saturday           12 PM to  11:30 PM
Sunday             12 PM to 10 PM

Vanguard Wine Bar - West Side

There's a lively, happening vibe going down at this friendly, neighborhood tapas and wine bar. It's a great place to mingle and make some new friends as well as re-connect with neighbors.
The big draws here are the tasty small plates and refreshing drinks, all at affordable prices.

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Vanguard's ambiance is bistro chic. The decor and food would not be out of place in Paris. This cozy and intimate  wine bar is a welcome breath of fresh air on the Upper West Side tapas scene.
The menu features tapas with a decidedly French accent. Go for the Tartines, which are delicious open-faced sandwiches on fresh baked mini-baguettes. Options include sauteed kale, roasted garlic and ricotta cheese or a a blend of mushrooms, shallots and truffles. Wildly popular is the shrimp and leeks with saffron aioli sandwich.

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The menu also has a nice selection of saavory Tartes, which are small flatbread stlye pizzas. The best of the bunch are the very Gallic ham, onion and Gruyere cheese pie as well as the smoked salmon, caviar and creme fraiche  offering.

Pair your glass of red or white wine up with one of their bar snacks. The Pimento cheese plate with baguette chips goes down really easy. Another tasty delight is Vanguard's pot of pickles, which includes cornichons, cumin pickled carrots and dill green beans.

Ideal for couples who are out on a date are the satisfying meat and cheese plates, which feature both American selections as well as imported cold cuts and Fromage.

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Sweet endings range from an assortment of Macarons (almond-meringue cookies) to chocolate  ganache filled confections.  However, the dessert that you simply cannot leave without ordering is their signature champagne Float. This addiction in a glass consists of candied cherries, vanilla bean ice cream, Chambord and a generous pour of Champagne.

Location and Hours

189 Amsterdam Avenue
New York, NY 10023
(212) 799-9463
www.vanguard-nyc.com

Hours
Monday to Saturday  5 PM to 2 AM
Sunday              3 PM to 12 AM

Osteria Cotta - West Side

No matter what kind of atmosphere you're seeking, there's a  room to match your mood at Osteria Cotta. With four distinct and welcoming seating options, you will never get bored here.

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The spacious main floor holds a cute bar and adjoining dining room. Just pull up a stool at the rustic, wood paneled bar and watch the bartenders do their thing. As befits an Italian wine and tapas bar, they have an extensive list of imported reds and whites, as well as  a few boutique domestic selections.

To the left of the bar, right beside the exposed brick wall, is a staircase that leads to the gorgeous mezzanine dining space. Not far away at all is the visual centerpiece of Osteria Cotta , an artfully decked out lounge area that is affectionately referred to as the living room.

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Complete with vintage couches, sofas, tables and chairs, together with an ornate chandelier, this warm room is a sight to behold.

During the nice weather, your fourth option is Cotta's sidewalk cafe. What could be better than enjoying a glass of wine along with some antipasti, while working on your tan? At night, the outdoor seating area is transformed into one of the most romantic spots in the neighborhood.

The chef's menu encompasses bountiful salads, personal pizza, pasta entrees as well as mains like grilled salmon, chicken Milanese and roasted Branzino.
But most people come here for the antipasti (small plates) and with good reason.

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The Italian style "tapas" features Arancini (risotto balls), wood-fired ricotta with toasted bread, truffled creamy polenta and chicken spiedini. This dish is rustic eating at its' finest. The sizzling skewers of grilled chunks of chicken, zucchini, onions and eggplant are so tasty they will vanish from your plate within minutes of being served.

Verdures are $5 each or you may order three for only $12. Choose, if you can, from the marinated olives plate, eggplant caponata or roasted beets with pecorino cheese.
Bruschette is available at $3 each or any 4 selections for $10. The most popular Bruschette options would have to be the tomato, mozzarella and basil and the Mascarpone with clover honey and strawberries.

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Vegetarians will not feel out of place here. Roasted cauliflower with shallots and dusting of Parmesan cheese, sauteed Broccoli Rabe and grilled veggies are just some of the menu items that will tickle your fancy.

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Location and Hours

513 Columbus Avenue
New York, NY 10024
(212)  873-8500
www.cottanyc.com

Hours
Monday to Wednesday 5 PM to 12 AM
Thursday-Friday     3 PM to 2 AM
Saturday-Sunday    11 AM to 2 AM

Fishtag - West Side

The Greeks may not have invented tapas style dining but they certainly perfected it. Anyone who has had the pleasure to visit Greece or the Aegean Islands and has enjoyed Hellenic hospitality and cuisine knows just what we are talking about.

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The Greek name for small plates is meze. Noted celebrity Chef Michael Psilakis has recently introduced several new meze options on the recently revamped menu at his Upper West Side restaurant Fishtag.

If you haven't already been to Fishtag, make plans to enjoy a meal here soon. Chef Michael describes his restaurant as a contemporary, casual seafood place meets a traditional wine bar. There is ample room at the stunning 30-foot granite bar to enjoy a delicious bar bite along with your cocktail. To the rear of the bar area is a  charming 60-seat dining room. The ambiance at Fishtag is chic industrial with warm Mediterranean touches throughout the place.

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As far as the enticing small plates menu goes, you may want to commence your evening with chef's simply grilled shrimp that are dressed with seasonal herbs, roasted garlic and Greek yogurt. The kitchen also offers a tempting selection of spreads such as Hummus, baba Ganoush and spicy feta. All selections are served with grilled pita.

When one dines at a cafe in the Greek Islands, one of the most popular appetizers is Saganaki cheese, grilled or roasted. Chef Michael serves his sheep milk cheese with preserved lemon, fried garlic, smoky and salted almonds and wild flower honey with a side of grilled bread.

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Fishtag is known for their smoked fish plates. Choose from salmon, sable fish or tuna. Chef Michael also has a salmon meze where the fish is smoked with pastrami seasonings.

Foremost among appetizer (meze) offerings is the hearty Greek "spoon" salad. You won't be hungry after you polish off this generously filled bowl of cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, onion, olives, grilled kale and feta cheese in a delicate red wine vinaigrette.

Fishtag's cheeseboards feature both domestic cheeses like Cabbot cheddar as well as French, Greek and Italian wedges. You can, if you like, add some savory Merguez sausage to any cheese board for a mere five dollars.

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Location and Hours

222 West 79th street
New York, NY 10024
(212) 362-7470
www.michaelpsilakis.com

Hours
Dinner :  Sunday to Thursday  5 PM to 10 PM
Friday and Saturday  5 PM  to 11 PM
Brunch    Saturday and Sunday  12 PM to 3 PM

Buceo 95 - West Side

When Spaniards are visiting New York, for business or pleasure, it is not unusual for them to stop by Buceo 95 for a quick bite  or a long, leisurely dinner, before heading back home. That's the highest compliment you can pay to a restaurant; when  tourists from the old country love the authentic flavors that come out of the kitchen.

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The owners here like to refer to their restaurant as a touch of Barcelona between Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue. They are not wrong.

Executive chef, Veronica Flores has curated an extensive menu of tapas delights. The signature plate is tapas tradicional  which consists of house mixed olives, fried  Marcona almonds and  Jamon Serrano. Your meal is accompanied by a 3 oz glass of Gomez Nevado fino sherry. Now that truly is something to look forward to.

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Meat-centric tapas include baby lamb chops with pistachio cream and butternut squash, house-made sausage in lentil stew, duck breast with braised peaches and meatballs inside of a thick and tangy tomato sauce.

A traditional dish from the coastal regions of Spain are the white and black anchovies with a Northern bean spread and sweet pearl onions. The bacalao croquettes with a caper and berry aioli are also quite delicious. It's a different sort of taste but one that you will enjoy.

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Chef Veronica 's potatoes bravas incorporate both baby purple and red bliss potatoes. They are mixed in with a slightly spicy tomato sauce and a garlic aioli. The chef, though, is equally as proud of her Berenjena dish. Baked eggplant, roasted garlic and tetilla cheese is topped with toasted bread crumbs.

Location and Hours

201 West 95th street
New York, NY 10025
(212) 662-7010
www.buceo95.com

Hours
Monday to Sunday 5 PM to 12 AM

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