The gastropub specialists behind neighborhood gems like Sweet Afton, The Bonnie and The Penrose debut the next in their fleet of charming yet sophisticated cocktail bars and restaurants with The Spaniard, opening Monday in the West Village. The team already operates a spot near and dear to me (I'll let you guess why) called Wilfie & Nell up West 4th Street, and now they're taking over the former Boxers/Oliver's City Tavern space just a few blocks away. Deep green leather banquettes look like the ideal spot to camp out on a lazy Saturday, while the cheery barstools beckon for a quick pint before heading home.
Craft cocktails have been the focus of the group's ventures since opening Bua in 2004. While the name of this new pub might lead you to think riojas and vermouths, the main thrust of the spirits program is scotch—with some Irish whiskey and bourbon, too—though cocktails branch out into other territories. To wit, the Second Serve ($13) employs fino sherry, Montenegro and lime.
True to the gastropub format, the food offerings innovate on humble dishes like Buffalo Wings (made with duck here, $14) while sticking close to tried-and-true classics that go very well with drinking. Plump Oysters Rockefeller ($18) eat like a meal with spinach and bacon, Lobster Roast ($14) riffs on the roll with creme fraiche on filone bread, and they're also doing a Patty Melt ($16) with dry aged beef, cheddar and McClure's pickles.
190 West 4th Street; thespaniardnyc.com
The Spaniard Food Menu by Nell Casey on Scribd
The Spaniard Whiskey Menu by Nell Casey on Scribd
The Spaniard Cocktail Menu by Nell Casey on Scribd