Casa Mono

By grace.g.yang · April 11, 2010
Under: East Village,Gramercy,Lunch,Michelin 2010 Guide,Spanish,Tapas

On Easter Sunday, Laura, Eric, and I went to Casa Mono for a late brunch/early dinner. I’ve been there once before for dinner with Blake and thought it was a great restaurant, especially for Mario Batali (the only other Batali restaurant I like is The Spotted Pig – his Italian restaurants…are not great to me). Casa Mono offers Spanish tapas and also an open kitchen, which is really nice if you end up dining by yourself because you have something to look at and someone to talk to. I made a reservation, but they wouldn’t seat us immediately, even though there was an available table (which was very obnoxious because they didn’t give us a reason as to why they wouldn’t seat us). When we finally sat down, they recommended each person order 2 dishes, especially since some of the dishes can be small. We started off with some bread, olives, and olive oil:


We asked our waiter if we had ordered enough and he rudely responded, “are you serious?” AND rolled his eyes, which REALLY shocked us, considering I WOULDN’T EVEN SAY THAT TO A FRIEND because it is SO INCREDIBLY rude. We ended up ordering six dishes, starting with the crispy pork belly with Greenmarket apples and Guindillas (peppers):


The pork belly was my least favorite dish of the meal; it was too oily, not flavorful enough, and, I think after living in New York City for three years, I’ve had enough pork belly to last me a lifetime. Eric ended up liking the dish (which is not that surprising because we have completely opposite tastes in food).

We also ordered foie gras with cinco cebollas:


Cinco cebollas, in Spanish, means five onions, so there were different types of onions paired with the creamy foie gras and crusty bread. The green onions were a little overcooked, but the tiny pickled red onions added a great crunchiness to the really well prepared foie.

My favorite dish of the afternoon was the Pork Croquetas with Green Tomatoes and Spicy Aioli:


The pork croquettes were really flavorful and slightly crunchy, but what made me really love the dish was the acidity from the green tomatoes paired with the spicy aioli and pork.

Based off David’s recommendation, we also ordered Cock’s Combs with cepes:


The texture was very gelatinous and the flavoring actually reminded me of the Chinese dish, tee-pang (I think it’s pork shoulder?) There was a lot of star anise flavoring and it was definitely over-salted, but otherwise, not terribly bad (although I would definitely not order this dish OR recommend anyone to order it).

My second favorite dish of the afternoon were the lamb chops with harissa and chickpeas:


The lamb chops were seared and paired with lots of fresh mint, which was delicious, but also over-salted. I was trying to cut the lamb chops and had a lot of difficulty because the knife I was using was completely dull, so I asked someone to bring me a new knife (not a completely outrageous request, right?). No one brought me a knife AND the guy I requested the knife from me walked by me multiple times! WHAT is wrong with their service?!

The last dish from lunch were veal cheeks with Pardina lentils:


The braised veal cheeks were also really delicious, but were doused in salt (I’m guessing while braising, they salted the sauce about 500 times). The lentils were very plain, but I suppose it offset the veal cheeks.

After dining at Casa Mono, I can see why it’s considered a Michelin star restaurant for their great Spanish food, but doesn’t Michelin consider service when they’re coming up with ratings? There are so many wonderful restaurants in the city that would love to be included in the Michelin book and the service that we dealt with at Casa Mono kind of ruined the entire experience for me. Go for food, but do not expect much from their waiters.

Casa Mono on Urbanspoon

Reader Comments

Looks like we’ll be making some arrests.

Written By servicepolice on April 12th, 2010 @ 9:57 am

Add a Comment

required, use real name
required, will not be published
optional, your blog address

Next Post:
Previose Post: