Bar Jamon

09. January 2004 Spanish, Union Square + Murray Hill 0

125 East 17th Street on Irving Place
about $125 for two, with a few drinks, without tip
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Jamon is Spanish for ham and Bar Jamon is the most recent translation in the New York City scene. Mario Batali’s latest digs is right next to Casa Mono, his fifth restaurant in New York City. The space is good for fifteen couples at most, but more than thirty were inside, even on a Tuesday night. We squeezed ourselves in to eat tapas and drink Spanish wine and new guests jumped to the next stool that freed up. A little jazz and a little Wilco were playing when we were there, but the music was so faint compared to the collective noise of those who had the same idea as we did.

With two bottles of Tempranillo, we shared two plates of ham cured for fourteen months. We also got the sardines en escabeche and marinated anchovies with migas de chorizo or sausage crumbs. We snacked on a plate of two kinds of cheeses and enjoyed their bread with some good olive oil. We didn’t think we’d stay past 9pm because of the crowd but as soon as we snatched the stools in the back, we ended up staying for two more hours.

Bar Jamon is a scene all right, but it’s a New York City scene and that you can’t pass up.