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  Occasion: Cuisine: Area: Cost: Rating:
  Night Out Spanish West Village Moderate Good

I’m gonna start this review with a fairly obvious declaration. New York is a tough town to open a restaurant. Come to think of it, it’s a pretty tough town to do anything for that matter. Just getting a cup of coffee can be murder. But the restaurant business? Now there’s a hungry beast with teeth. This is especially true when you open a restaurant of a popular genre, like Spanish tapas, for instance. You leave yourself wide open to comparison with the current players. And the roster of players in this field is flooded with furiously talented chefs—Andy Nusser at Casa Mono and Bar Jamon, Alex Raij at Tia Pol, and Seamus Mullen at Boqueria, to name a few—who cook their finest in sizzling Spain-simulated environments. I don’t know if I’d get in the ring with them. But kudos to those who try.

Which brings us to Tasca, a new tapas and wine bar owned by Robert Meller, an MBA who changed careers to pursue a life in the restaurant business. Oh the glory of the food biz, always lures ‘em in. Happened to me, too, so I can understand it. Anyway, Meller has done nicely for himself. He worked for BR Guest and has run a few off the radar spots like Busby’s, Saga and Landmark Tavern before getting into the game as an owner and opening Tasca with chef Craig Wilson. Wilson is new to Manhattan and was most recently cooking in Philadelphia and at Café Paradiso in Ardmore. The pair seems to be hitting it off so far. They’ll soon open another restaurant, Central Kitchen Brasserie, just next door.

Now back to Tasca. When Katy, Steven, Sam and I had dinner there last week, the place was packed: wall-to-wall bodies, three-deep at the bar, with every table taken. The energy was a bit frantic. I had trouble getting to our table—a four-top by the floor to ceiling windows that face out to Seventh Avenue South. I was shoved and poked and prodded and practically mowed down by a woman trying to get to the door, a busser with a bus tub, and a dishwasher carrying a flat of glasses. (Note to self: wear protective padding and possibly a helmet on the next visit.) It was like rush hour in there.

Once we were seated—and offered a selection of great house-cured olives and fried flatbread with creamy, fluffy hummus—things calmed down a bit. I just watched the others bob and weav ... [more, click below]

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Other restaurants in West Village :
+ Jefferson-- Closed   + La Palapa Rockola   + Sumile   + Babbo   + Tasca   + AOC Bedford   + Home   + The Spotted Pig   + Barbuto   + Numero 26   + Mas   + August   + Alta   + Cru   + Blue Mill Tavern-- Closed   + Employees Only   + Lassi   + Metropol--Closed   + Turks and Frogs   + Bellavitae   + Yumcha-- CLOSED   + Gusto: SEE EARLIER REVIEW; THIS CHEF HAS LEFT GUSTO   + Perry Street   + Home   + Ditch Plains   + The Little Owl   + Cafe Condesa   + Cafe Cluny   + Gusto   + The Waverly Inn   + Morandi   + P*ONG   + Perilla   + Soto   + Market Table   + Centro Vinoteca   + Barfry   + Dell'Anima   + Bar Blanc   + Smith's   + Commerce   + Elettaria   + Bar Q   + Cabrito   + 10 Downing   + Minetta Tavern   + Braeburn   + Scuderia, by guest reviewer Kathleen Squires   + Bar Blanc Bistro by Guest Reviewer Kathleen Squires   + Joseph Leonard   + Bar Henry, by Guest Reviewer Kathleen Squires   + Kin Shop   + Monument Lane   + Wong   + Bin on Bleecker, by Dara Pollak   + Ristorante Rafele   + Cole's Greenwich Village by Guest Reviewer Claire Jaffe   

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