15 May 2009
Bar Carrera: vinos y tapas
In the day, the rippled glass front of Carrera doesn't appear to be much. A modest sign hangs over, the door perched open. We stepped into the cozy spot laced with loud Spanish music. The space is relatively modest with a poured concrete entry way, grained dark wood stools and old photos and posters of Spanish bull fighters.
A friendly host settled us at a table adjacent a slightly awkward fountain with a neon light on daisies. While perusing the impressive wine list, a friendly kid (and most likely Midwestern transplant) offered us a few words on the menu. I selected a Spanish white that promised apricot and a balanced finish. My company had an Estrella Catalan pilsner.
To eat: we had the queso plate which featured four cheeses (all that seemed to be made from goat's milk), quince a few olives and a curiously shaped mini baguette (think comical mustache). We also ordered a plate of spanish olives, the pork belly and stuffed dates wrapped in bacon. The tapas-style dishes were more comparable to pintxos (tastings served in the Basque region of Spain). The varied flavors kept us quite satisified while sipping on our libatons. I switched to to a glass of red from the Ipsum winery in Spain. The promised notes of clove and chocolate were present and worked well with the robust cheeses and salty, meaty olives. Although my dining partner enjoyed the pork belly with a smudge of enthusiasm, I found it to be too fatty for my palate. I also prefer the dates at Boqueria to the regional style at Carrera.
Bonus! It's adjacent the East Village movie theatre. You could spend an evening making your way down the avenue, after a film, have a night cap at Shoolbreds.