They use the kitchen to showcase the wares on sale at the restaurant – it’s more of a provisioners than an eatery. Lydia hit us with everything on the menu here at DespaÃ±a, so I’m going to do this one Bouchon style (link):
This one was one of my favorites. The catfish and potatoes were smooth on a crispy cracker. Kind of like a shrimp toast. Must order #3.
|Croquettes de Bacalao
The cutaway version wasn’t so sexy looking, but Bacalao means cod. An expense account version of a fish stick.
|Morcilla Blood Sausage
Expense account version of a barbecue cocktail weenie crock pot.
|Croquettes de Serrano
My least favorite item. It was softer than I’d expected inside and I thought the cheese was kind of tart against the Serrano Ham. The ham was excellent.
Must order #2. I think it was the quince paste that made this one for me. Sweet and savory (blood sausage) together FTW here.
|Patates y DespaÃ±a Chorizo
This one wasn’t super memorable. The thing is when we get so many small plates, there are a few amazing dishes, but there’s gonna be a few skips.
I wondered what this had to do with Pesto – turns out not much (wiki). It was like a ratatouille. Vegetable Jones + Plate of Vegetables = I don’t know how good this actually was, but I was pumped for it.
|Don Bocarte Polpi
If you ordered this because you wanted octopus, you would be very happy with it. I wasn’t ready for something this adventurous at this time of the day. What I can say is that the consistency of the octopus was astounding and the pseudo-scalloped potatoes with the dish worked well.
|Catfish and Pequio Pepper
This was like a Chile Rellenos with catfish inside. Pretty great combination.
Goat cheese, artichokes, pequio peppers, and chestnut paste. This was Julia Child’s last creation before she died, I am sure. Genius. These flautas were big winners for me.
|Churros and Chocolate
The circumference of these churros is smaller than the average churro and that made them more crispy throughout, a property that I enjoyed and Nancy didn’t. Who’s the best judge of crispiness? The world may never know.
In my notes, I just wrote:
Best … Flan … Ever. Must order #1.
The IRL Arts Foundation and The Wandering Foodie thank DespaÃ±a for providing this meal.
408 Broome Street
New York, NY 10013