bar carrera.jpgA seat at the Spanish Wine Bar Carrera is like a visit to an old friend’s home. The long table is intimate and cozy and you can’t help but befriend the people seating next to you. Joe the bartender, is quick to offer a suggestion of his favorite tapas or wine selection and you’d be wise to oblige. In the care of good hands, we had a great meal, fabulous wine and a hangover that seemed well justified…in our book a perfect night.

The wine we chose was a bright, floral white from the Rueda region of Spain. The Martinsancho 2004 Verdejo ($32) was the perfect match to our tapas. The crisp acidity and floral and peach notes stood up quite nicely to the great dishes we selected (ok, that Joe selected, but we were smart to listen). It was hard to choose our favorites but you can’t go wrong with the chorizo sausage bocdillo or the smoked salmon with black caviar. The salmon and caviar floated on a bed of buttery goodness that was indulgent and luxurious.

We finished the night with a glass (or two) of Churchill 10 year Tawny port and the three shades of chocolate dessert and the strawberries con crema on mini broche. The combination was unbelievable and certainly something to write home about. Bar Carrera, the latest venture from Frederick Twomey, is that magical combination of when good food meets great wine meets comfort and warmth. As the city get colder this season, you’ll know where to find Gothamist warming up. And yes, it will involve a big glass of Ribera del Duero, some chorizo and perhaps a glass of Sherry (or two).

Bar Carrera, 175 2nd Ave, between 11th & 12th Streets, (212) 375-1555.

photo from Citysearch