Monday, August 16, 2010

soccarat paella bar

Paella is one of those dishes you can't just wing. I mean, I don't doubt that some of you are capable of doing it, but, there's nothing worse than a mediocre paella. It's kind of like mediocre sushi. You just don't want to go there. So there's really no surprise as to why I haven't sought out paella since I was in the south of Spain.

Four years ago.

Insane, right? But I just couldn't risk marring the perfection of my fond memories of having paella in Marbella. The creamy, almost risotto-like rice, punched up with tons of lemon zest and a hint of saffron perfume with razor clams and mussels and squid and pieces of white fish and I just couldn't have added or taken away a single element of the dish to improve the experience. It's a truly humbling dish.

So when I had the opportunity to visit Soccarat Paella bar with two lovely ladies, I was, at first, a bit nervous. How would this paella compare?

But first, let's oogle over some wine, shall we?

And more specifically, let's talk about Albarino. Back in June, I was lucky enough to attend the Albarino Food and Wine Pairing Event hosted by W.R. Tish, who praised Albarino for its acidity. And its acidity is what makes it a dream pairing for food. I know I've been singing the praises of Riesling ad nauseum (and hey, it's for good reason) but Albarino plays the same sort of game on your palate. A citrusy zing to add that perfect amount of vibrancy to your meal. And the one pictured above did that gorgeously.

Oh and the paella? Let's just say that whole "fear" flew right out the door as soon as this handsome paella was ushered to our table. Flavor for days. Every element cooked just right. And when chased with a sip of Marqués de Vizhoja Albarino? Game over, my friends. Game. Over.

259 W 19th St.


JParadisee said...

Holy crap that looks good! You just took me from that after coffee total lack of appetite place to dreaming of lunch. I've had some sub par paellas and only a few really good ones. But when done right it is a work of art for sure.

Love the Albarino! Before I succumbed to an all out 'Summer of Riesling'I was digging the high acid whites. Albarino was definitely a favorite along a similar vein I was digging Torrontes and Gruner Veltliners. That razor shard acidity is so refreshing, even when out of balance slightly. Great post...officially salivating now!

Kiira Leess said...

thanks for the comment, jeff! i definitely suggest you check soccarat out. great little spot.

viva razor sharp acidity! it always wins.


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