Two Michelin, specifically. They don’t belong to him but to Smoked Room. His older cousin in Madrid has just made history by achieving this recognition with just under six months of life. What he started with “what could we do with this little corner that we have left when designing Leña”, a restaurant dedicated to wood and smoke in Madrid, has become a great revelation at the end of the year.
But let’s talk about Casa Dani. The new adventure of our talented and ubiquitous chef opened a week ago in the city that never sleeps. And he doesn’t want to know anything about haute cuisine. After the failed experience of Manzanilla, which closed in 2014, Garcia tries to conquer the new yorkers palate again turning to the Andalusia of his childhood and its great food classics. But revisited and presented in a modern and aesthetically striking way.
In fact, the first thing that comes to mind after seeing the interior design, a work of David Rockwell, is the hippie and alluring Marbella of the 70s. But with the crochet curtains and hanging plants that your Spanish grandmother had in her living room. And again, the combination works perfectly because it is glamorous and homemade at the same time. Like Garcia´s cooking.
A really Mediterranean menu
The Mediterranean has a special role on the menu. Fish, seafood, and rice. And it has a special section on tuna, which for me is one of the best elements. It is imported from Spain in all its versions: croquettes, carpaccio, tartare and salted shank.
I wonder if New Yorkers will appreciate such a special product. I expect so. In fact, the chef has commented that getting Spanish produce into the US is easier now than a few years ago. I have always thought that it is one of the greatest challenges that Spanish restaurants face abroad. Because our kitchen is made of pristine products and it has nowhere to hide if the key ingredients have no perfect quality.
In addition to the seafood, there is no shortage of great classics such as tortilla de patata and oxtail brioche, one of Garcia´s great classic tapas. You can find ham croquettes too. And all this with very interesting wines giving special prominence to the southern ones. It could not be otherwise. And I find the prices very reasonable for the quality of the ingredients.
Garcia plans to travel to NY often. He also just opened El Pollo Verde, a healthy, Mediterranean fast-food restaurant. I had the feeling that his American adventure has only just begun.
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