Barraca, a newcomer to the West Village and sister restaurant to taperías Rayuela and Mocando, boasts late-night Spanish tapas and sangria until 3 a.m. daily. Chef Jesús Nuñez, formerly of the modern Spanish restaurant Gastroarte, takes a traditional approach to the cuisine here, offering items popular on most tapas menus such as Patatas Bravioli, Croquetas, Pan con Tomate, and Gambas al Ajillo.
But Nuñez, a former graffiti artist, has a playful side that comes out, even when his cooking palette is restricted to the most traditional of Mediterranean flavors. Take for instance his version of the Catalonia coca, a typical flatbread. His version of Coca de Pato Confitado ($11) is crispy and paper-thin, topped with delicate slices of duck confit, sweet roasted apples, and colorful pops of cherry tomatoes and baby spinach.
Huevo Relleno de Atun ($6) is the Spanish version of deviled eggs mixed with cooked tuna. Nuñez takes it one step further by adding béchamel, stuffing whole eggs with the mixture, then breading and deep-frying them. The final product resembles a creamy version of a scotch egg with tuna instead of sausage.
Other recommended dishes include the Pimientos de Piquillo ($10), bright red peppers stuffed with hearty oxtail stew, and the Coles de Bruselas ($8, pictured), a simple sauté of Brussels sprouts, fava beans, and Serrano ham.
If you've got room in the stomach and some extra cash in hand, Barraca's selection of paellas can be worth the splurge. Prices start at $19 per person, with a minimum of two orders per serving. The rice is flavorful and the seafood plump, but will it take you back to Valencia? The paella debate is much like the pizza one—never-ending—so best to order up a pitcher of sangria and take in the moment as is.
About the author: Nancy Huang, who comes to New York by way of Los Angeles, writes The Wanderist, a food and travel blog of adventures here and abroad. She loves noodles, subway maps, and word games.