One of Spain’s most acclaimed chefs makes Manhattan West debut after seven years away from New York

One of Spain’s most acclaimed chefs, Dani García – who owns 11 restaurants and is known as a master of progressive Spanish cuisine with dishes like nitro tomatoes and oxtail brioche – will open Casa Dani on December 14 at Midtown West Citizens NY’s new food court, located at 385 Ninth Avenue between West 31st and 33rd Street.

The 3,700-square-foot restaurant, which is divided between a 160-seat mezzanine dining room with a glazed open kitchen and an 11-seat bar plus lounge area, is a collaborative project with the prolific hotel group Sbe (the same group which first partner with pioneering Spanish chef José Andrés in Los Angeles to open his iconic Bazaar). Unlike much of the avant-garde, three-Michelin-starred cuisine that catapulted García to fame in Spain, here in New York, he keeps things simple, focusing on the Mediterranean cuisine he ate in growing up in the Andalusia region of southern Spain.

“The inspiration comes from my youth and the traditions of my country,” García says, adding that “the [restaurant’s] the name suggests. Naturally, the menu leans towards seafood, with classic dishes from southern Spain. like chanquete con huevo y pimiento (noodles with fried eggs and grilled peppers), chipirones en su tinta (small squid in ink sauce) and crowd-favorite ham croquettes. While the chef notes that Casa Dani has some similarities to his seafood restaurant Lobito de Mar (which has locations in Marbella and Madrid), he explains that while some of the dish names are similar, each has its “own unique personality. concept. “

Iberian ham croquetas.
Casa Dani

A plate of sliced ​​octopus in a red tomato sauce.

Pulpo (octopus) with daddy alina.
Casa Dani

A bowl with four baby squids covered with a black squid ink sauce and white cream.

Chipirones en su tinta (squid ink for babies in an ink sauce).
Casa Dani

Naturally, a good part of the menu is dedicated to tapas, and there is a whole section dedicated specifically to tuna and its different preparations. García says that he brings the best tuna in the world, from Spain, and that he will serve various cuts like pan de tuna con tomate, morrillo a la sal (the front of the tuna with green vegetables) and a carpaccio of porterhouse tuna simply drizzled with Spanish olive oil. It also imports this specific olive oil from Spain, as well as boquerones, anchoas and rice. “We try to bring as much as possible from Spain,” he said.

García’s Mediterranean menu continues with a mix of familiar dishes like croquetas de jamón ibérico and bacalao (salt cod) with piquillo peppers to larger family-style dishes like a whole Canary Island branzino cooked in black salt. And no Spanish menu would be complete without a tribute to rice. Here diners can choose from a handful of dishes with rice or protein-fortified fideos (noodles) like Cornish hen, a 28-day dry-aged bone-in ribeye, or an assortment of seafood. , for customers keen to try one of García’s signature dishes, there is the oxtail brioche appetizer. It’s a dish he created 18 years ago when he wanted to add oxtail to a tapas-style dish. The handmade bite is made of brioche sandwiching the pulled oxtail with sliced ​​mushrooms and a special sauce made with oxtail juice.

As for the Casa Dani bar program, it is a joint venture between the chef’s team in Spain and New York, with input from Sbe as well. Cocktails lean heavily on sherry –– with drinks like 5,600 Miles, which feature Spanish brandy, ascension sherry, mezcal, lime and strawberry –– as the wine list expands from all over Spain.

A dining room with hanging light globes, wooden tables and a green wall on one side.

David Rockwell’s team designed Casa Dani.
Casa Dani

To complement García’s in-house Spanish-Mediterranean food and drink, famed architect and interior designer David Rockwell (Wayan, Catch Steak) and his team designed a space reminiscent of open-air Spanish courtyards, decorating the rooms with soft earthy tones, checks, hanging plants, and lace-inspired curtains for an outdoor feel.

Some New Yorkers may remember this is not Garcia’s first race in the Big Apple. In 2013, he launched Manzanilla, a highly anticipated Spanish brasserie on Park Avenue South with Boqueria owner Yann de Rochefort, and despite some good reviews, this concept did not quite work and it closed its doors a year later. So Garcia does it again, but this time with not just one restaurant, but at least two. He also recently opened El Pollo Verde, a fast-casual eatery, located in the Citizens NY food hall, a short walk from the Hudson Yards development.

And while chef Alberto Carballo – who worked at Manzanilla and was most recently at Turk’s Inn in Bushwick – will oversee the day-to-day cooking, García plans to be in New York often to oversee his restaurants, he says. hinting that “there are a lot of other projects going on so I’ll be here quite often.”

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