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El Quijote Restaurant, New York

This restaurant is located at 226 West 23rd Street in NY.  We came across this authentic Spanish restaurant on our way to Chelsea Piers and it was a pretty neat find. We were looking for a light meal since we planned on having dinner later in the evening.  From our Zagat guide, we read that this place can get very crowded - so luckily we arrived early enough to beat the crowds and grab a seat at the bar.

Rachel ordered a "Santiago Margarita" which was invented by the bartender named Santiago who served us and has been tending bar there for 15 years.  I tried a sangria which was good although not filled with fruit like I usually like.  We were served complimentary Mejillones Quijote which are
mussels served in a light red sauce with a slice of french bread and since Rachel is a vegetarian - I was treated to a double portion.

We ordered Tortilla Espanola (one of our favorite Spanish dishes, quiche like dish with potatoes and onion), Asparagus Vinaigrette (white Asparagus served with a vinaigrette sauce, served cold) and Papas Bravas (cubed potatoes served with a cream sauce -lighter than we are used to but this was tasty with a kick).  Everything not only tasted great but was very authentic based on our experience in Spain a couple years back.

This establishment is old - I believe dating back to the 1930s - and the waiters and decor reflect this.  You'll find many Don Quijote statuettes all around the restaurant and bar along with arched doorways in a dimly lit setting.  It's a unique departure from more contemporary and trendy restaurants and I think is a necessary departure when in search of authentic culture that gets lost at newer Spanish style tapas restaurants.

All in all - an unexpected and suprising find for us in New York City and one that we would recommend to others.

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    Response: Brian Poe
    Raul Keally - Food - El Quijote Restaurant, New York

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