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In a dark corner of Williamsburg across from the shuttered Domino factory, Mercado is located in a new Bauhaus-style building with a roof like a ski jump and gleaming dining room, which focuses on a pair of wood-burning ovens. From them issue an agreeable selection of Spanish tapas, with a minor emphasis on the cooking of the Basque region. Most recommended are the miniature octopus brochettes and trio of croquettes featuring Serrano ham, clams, and mushrooms. The bread made in the downstairs bakery is exemplary (you may carry a loaf home), so make sure to order some charcuterie and cheese to go with it. Skip the larger plates, thoughsuch things as paella and fideos (angel-hair pasta) arrive low on carbs and sodden with grease.
Five years ago, news that a protégé of Spanish chef Ferran Adrià—the guru of molecular gastronomy—was coming to NYC would have turned out hordes of diners obsessed with foam, fog, and other fantastic transformations of familiar foods by color,... More »
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