A Little Spanish Fare on Broadway

Review: Meson Sevilla, NYC

Tuesday night, my friend Lena from university and I met up in NYC’s Chelsea neighbourhood – where I was staying for the week whilst on business – to catch up since she’d finished her PhD at UPenn, and moved up to NYC since finishing out this past summer. Her husband works in corporate finance in the city whilst she commuted out to North New Jersey for her new position, hence the move to NYC. She had wanted to take me out along Restaurant Row on 9th Ave between 37th and 47th Streets as there are a lot of cute and eclectic restaurants along the row and she was willing to allow me to call the shots.

Obviously I avoided anywhere that was too expensive – even if I was getting reimbursed by my employer, it wasn’t the same case for her. No Italian (overpriced), no Thai (been there done that, make my own too many times), no French (also overpriced), no steakhouses (duh)…finally settled on a Spanish place on 46th that appeared inviting. We took a look at the menu and made our way in.

Feeling somewhat stuffed from the afternoon’s lunch I was going for slightly lighter fare. Well sort of. I love Spanish food, but I haven’t gotten into it too much so as to try and learn how to make my own. Being a runner I was going to try and avoid dishes that screamed carb overload. In other words, no paella (a seafood mixture dish served over a bed of rice). So both Lena and myself wound up going for mariscada (seafood stew) dishes (each 18.95): mine with a green sauce consisting of sherry wine, olive oil, onions and parsley, whilst her dish was served with a garlic and tomato-based creole sauce.  We also both opted for a glass of wine (each $8), with Lena opting for a glass of Faustino Rivera and myself going for one of Touchelo.

The waiter came out with our bread, there were the traditional rolls, but we also had sliced bread with cheese, oregano and other seasoning topped with oil. Whilst we were waiting for our food, we caught up with each other, the job is going great, and she’s a lot more happier than ever now that she’s finished with her dissertation. Well almost, the formality touches still need signed off…but she’s passed. It’s over. Lena had been following my progress as well with my half marathon training as my marking the miles completed on Facebook intrigued her. Told her I had just wanted to finish. Time is secondary for now, just finish sans injury. And of course, updated her on the graduate school situation. At the very worst I love Philly and cannot see myself going anywhere, and certainly not through grad school.

The food finally came out with a small bed of saffron rice and vegetables that the both of us were supposed to share. The rice was a little buttery, but the seafood stew was pretty decent. Clams, mussels, squid, and shrimp. The oily/buttery nature of the stew prompted both of us to use more of the rice and the vegetables. Whilst the stew was good though, it also didn’t jump out at me. The flavor didn’t jump out at me though, it didn’t have quite the zing I had hoped for. Lena and I had exchanged a piece of shrimp to get a whiff of the other’s seasoning, and while the creole sauce tasted alright, it didn’t have quite the zing to it I could have otherwise done myself.

To their credit, the servers here were pretty attentive, and the food had been served pretty much without a hitch. Just thinking though, that I have had better, a bit more flavourful on the whole from Spain. And it’s entirely possible some of their other fare could be quite striking. The ambience was just fine, typical restaurant noise, no issues with carrying on conversations with Lena, and us chatting to the tune of traditional Spanish music playing in the background.

Overall we had fun on our night out and I was happy to be able to have caught up with Lena, but I’m thinking we could have done a little better. On the other hand, it WAS my first time out on NYC’s restaurant row. Ah, we learn.

Restaurant Info:

Meson Sevilla | 344 West 46th Street | New York, NY, 10036 | 212.262.5890 | Website

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