Estela & NYC’s American Tapas Scene

Estela is a small plates restaurant and resembles Son of A Gun in Los Angeles.  I believe the Spanish word is “tapas” in other words small plates.  Same thing.  It’s like a person who’s a chiropractor or someone who has a PhD trying to say they’re doctor.  Ok.  It’s not the same thing but you get the point.

Estela NY
The restaurant

Chef Ignacio Mattos’ restaurant doesn’t have any significant Michelin awards but it’s on the San Pellegrino World’s 100 Best Restaurants list.  It’s #90 in 2015 and #44 in 2016. Who gives a flying fuck if it’s not good, right?

Estela is located on the borders of NoHo and Nolita.  It’s a small restaurant with a full size bar and the seating is a bit cram.  I could literally hear my neighbors conversation; seriously, I heard a mother tell her daughter that she needs to chill with her resting bitch face.

However, the service was great.  My waitress was very good at explaining the menu and how the restaurant works.  In addition, she was great at making sure my drinks were always full, which helped me leave the restaurant shit faced and cause me to order everything on the menu.  Thanks, by the way.

Now, the food.  We ordered the following dishes:

  1. Cod and potato croquettes with aioli – The aioli was a great complement to the crispy shell and soft croquettes.  The texture of the croquette definitely dissolved in your mouth and a great plate to start dinner.  This was a great two pair of balls in your mouth.  Wait, that didn’t sound appropriate.
    Estela NY
    Cod and potato croquettes with aioli
  2. Beef Tartare w/ Sunchoke – I really enjoyed this dish.  The tartare was flavorful and the sunchoke was a great idea.  It was crispy and tasted like fried scallions.  There’s nothing like having raw meat in your mouth…. Nevermind.
    Estela NY
    Beef Tartare w/ Sunchoke
  3. Fried Arroz Negro with Squid and Romesco – This is a very popular dish at Estela and I can see why after trying it.  It had a lot of flavor.  The rice was under cooked and it added a crunchy texture to it.  It resemble paella but not as wet as I get when I have fish in my mouth.  I’ll stop now…
    Estela NY
    Fried Arroz Negro with Squid and Romesco

Overall, I really enjoyed my dining experience at Estela. The food was really tasty overall and had a lot of flavor.  It’s definitely a casual place where you could go and enjoy some food with comforting flavors.  It’s a fantastic restaurant without the formal technicalities like having official titles and displaying your relationship status on Facebook.

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  • 7.5/10
    Service - 7.5/10
  • 7/10
    Presentation - 7/10
  • 7.5/10
    Flavors - 7.5/10
  • 6.5/10
    Decor - 6.5/10
  • 6.5/10
    Ambiance - 6.5/10
7/10

Summary

Estela is a small plates restaurant and resembles Son of A Gun in Los Angeles. The service was great. The food was really tasty overall and had a lot of flavor.

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