Sometimes the best restaurant discoveries are the ones that you stumble across by chance.
We walked past Casa Mono about a dozen times on the way back to our place from the subway, always noticing it was packed with beautiful people at every meal of the day.
So one night, we gave it a try.
Usually you need to book, but you might get lucky with free dinner seats at the bar at 10.30pm. (It seems that my late dining hours in Buenos Aires have become a regular habit.)
Casa Mono is a beautiful little restaurant. Intimate setting, dim lighting and rowdy but good-natured crowd.
The most delicious Spanish tapas plates keep flowing out of the kitchen all night long.
Sitting at the bar, we had front row seats to watch the chefs do their magic.
Though it’s a bit tricky to take photos when your friends are seated horizontally from you.
(At least, that’s what I’m going to blame this blurry shot on.)
I’m so glad I was here with two hungry boys so that we could order plenty of dishes.
Blackened beetroots with Caña de Cabra cheese, blueberries and bagel chips.
Bacalao croquetas with orange alioli.
Razor clams a la plancha – grilled to perfection and drizzled in oil.
Will is a tough judge, but he was very impressed so far.
Fideos (noodles) with chorizo, sea beans and clams.
As for my opinion …
I could not be more happy with these Catalan delights.
But wait, there’s more.
Rabbit with habanero cuajada and Mono kimchee.
Tastes just like chicken, seriously.
Duck egg with mojama and black truffles.
Confit goat with avocado queso, scallion ash, patatas bravas and a sprinkle of pistachios.
Skirt steak with romesco and onion mermelada.
Protein obsessed Ilia plated up his steak before giving his verdict.
I think that means he’s in love.
We sipped on our wines and chatted late into the night.
Honestly, Casa Mono makes it to one of my all-time favourite restaurants. The food and service was that good. No surprise this place has also been awarded one Michelin star.
I’ll be remembering the tapas from here for years to come.
Details here: 52 Irving Place, Gramercy Park, New York City (http://www.casamononyc.com/)