The Spanish chef discusses his new restaurant in New York City
Chef Dani Garcia has fulfilled a lifelong dream. After running Calima, a two Michelin star restaurant in Marbella, Spain, the chef decided to open a new Spanish brasserie in New York City: Manzanilla.
In order to make his dream become a reality, he paired up with Yann de Rochefort, renowned restaurateur and owner of the popular tapas restaurant, Boqueria, to help him operate his new kitchen. "I was inspired to share the concept and philosophy developed at Calima, but it was very important to me to work with a seasoned operator like Yann de Rochefort who understands the city and its restaurants,” Chef Garcia said in a release.
The final result of this collaboration? A bi-level restaurant on Park Avenue South filled with Andalusian culture and delicious Spanish dishes.
With de Rochefort’s help, Garcia was able to come up with an authentic Spanish menu while still appealing to the classic New York foodie. The menu “fuses tradition and leading-edge techniques without losing sight of great flavors as the ultimate goal,” according to de Rochert.
There are a variety of unique dishes on the menu, including tuna tartare in a uni glaze, pulpo a la gallega (Spanish octopus with potatoes and a pimentón froth), monkfish in salsa verde, and slow-cooked suckling pig served on butternut squash purée.
The dessert selection is also unconventional, with Spanish vanilla rice pudding topped with raspberry cotton candy and crunchy caramel, pineapple iceberg with ginger-poached apples and passion fruit cream, and creamy chocolate fondant with basil lemon cream and yogurt popcorn (yum).
And if you like a nice glass of wine or a cocktail with your meal, you’re in luck because Manzanilla offers an extensive wine list and a cocktail menu that will definitely spark your interest with drinks such as the “Sol de Jerez” with Double Cross vodka, Lustau Olorso, Licor 43 and fresh blood orange juice; the “Puzzled Look” with Flor de Caña rum, Bendedictine, velvet Falernum, Broker’s Bitters and lime; and the “Ensenada Meets Marbella,” a mix of Espolon Blanco tequila, Alvear Carlos VWW amontillado, grapefruit, grapefruit salt and lime.
The work is all done and the restaurant is now open. Now, all Garcia and de Rochefort can do is see how New Yorkers react to their new Spanish inspired restaurant.
Skyler Bouchard is a junior write for the Daily Meal. Follow her on twitter at @skylerbouchard.