28 November 2011

Another "Who Goes There" Subject Falls

Spanish Taverna, a Garment District standby that I profiled in a July 2009 "Who Goes There?" column, has closed. I can't tell when the shuttering happened. According to a Yelp posting, the place was will in operation in October. But the phone has been disconnected. And there's a "For Rent" sign in the window, the other windows being papered over.

Here's a bit of what I found in 2009:
The inside, however, is as drab as ever. Tan, brown, yellow—the colors of the 1970s. There’s a nook of a bar up front, and an oddly airless, somewhat depressing dining area in back, with rows of booths on either side. A wealth of mirrors on the sides and in the back lends the illusion of space, as do the unusual plastic arcs which hang from the ceiling and partly divide one booth from the next. I’ve never seen this latter design feature in any other restaurant. It must have seemed terribly modern 34 years ago when Spanish Taverna opened.
Those who come here (Garment District workers, who like to haunt the bar; foreign tourists from Australia, Spain and elsewhere; a few elderly pre-theatre diners) seem to regard it as a hidden gem purveying some of the most authentic Spanish grub in the metropolis. Indeed, the food, while hellishly expensive (entrees range from $18 to $30; a glass of sangria is $8) is more than decent, and undeniably bountiful. I particularly like the mariscadas—various kinds of stew brought to the table in weathered pewter kettles. And everything is served with a dish of very nice, thinly slice fried potatoes.
So, that makes three former "Who Goes There?" subjects that have bitten the dust this fall: Spanish Taverna, La Petite Auberge, and Hinsch's (though the latter is slated to reopen new year under new management). And Rocco's will close early next year. I would have done a "Final Seating" column for Spanish Taverna if I had but known.


Anonymous said...

Dunno ... a restaurant getting the "Who Goes There" treatment is sort of like an actor getting a "lifetime achievement" Oscar :)


Kim said...

Was getting ready to drive in to Spanish Taverna for dinner tonight with my family. Have been going there since I was nine! (I am 49!) Very sad. So many happy times! Such great food and sangria. Hoping it will reappear somewhere.