If you’re in the mood for elevated southern Spanish fare, look no further than chef Dani Garcia’s Casa Dani. The restaurant, which means “Dani’s house,” is inside the Citizens food hall at Manhattan West and serves up everything from raw Mediterranean seafood to paella.
The space is sleek and modern, with ceilings that reach for the sky, a glassed-in kitchen, lots of beautiful fabric, and texture in every corner. The dining room is packed, with the crowd a mix of sophisticated business people and attractive couples on dates.
While there are no shortage of molecular-cuisine tricks—Casa Dani is the only restaurant in Manhattan with liquid nitrogen—the superpower of this place lies in taking traditional dishes and elevating them. The pan con tomate is a tartare with sun-dried tomatoes; the patatas bravas are served on crisp sourdough instead of the traditional crystal bread; and the paella is artfully presented in massive, traditionally-sized pans.
But this isn’t just about fancy technique; the flavors are solid, and the menu is full of great choices. The tortilla espagnol is a must (call ahead to reserve the limited supply), as is the oxtail brioche. And make sure to try one of the sangrias, which are very good. This isn’t the best Spanish food in town, but it’s definitely worth a visit if you’re in the neighborhood.