Chef Dani García has just launched two new restaurant concepts in NYC - and we’re excited. Casa Dani is his signature culinary combination of Andalusian tradition and playful innovation, while Pollo Verde does healthy Mediterranean take out.
Any gastro aficionado in Marbella, or Spain for that matter, is familiar with Dani García’s playful blend of Andalusian culinary tradition and irreverent innovation. Now New Yorkers can join in the fun because the chef’s group has just opened not one, but two, new concepts in Manhattan. These follow in the footsteps of García’s established, high end chains (BIBO, Lobito del Mar), as well as a slew of new fast-casual restaurants and concepts, such as on Glovo delivery app (Spain).
Back to New York, where Casa Dani is a modern yet classy restaurant where dishes are a delightful take on classic southern Spanish fare with a modern twist. “We wanted to give a nod to the traditional small restaurants you find in southern Spain, to my roots and to that welcoming nature of the Andalusian people,” says the chef. Dishes, such as oxtail and chorizo brioche, La Tortilla de mi Madre and cod pil pil sum up this approach. The menu plays host to some of Spain’s greatest hits, such as txuleta aged rib eye, whole salt-baked branzino (served family style) and black rice paella. But Casa Dani is certainly not for food snobs, with homage paid to the Andalusian tradition of deep-fried-and-delicious fish, croquettes and patatas bravas.
When it comes to pairing your food, Casa Dani has a veritable bible of wine, featuring grapes from all over Spain. Sectioned by region, Andalusia, Catalonia, La Mancha, the Basque Country etc, you can take a trip around the peninsula through the medium of wine. There’s an impressive array of cavas on offer - from classic Juvé y Camps Gran Reserva (you can’t go wrong) to the small Mallorcan producer Cati Ribot. The wine list also features titles beyond Spain, including a section dedicated to oh-so-hot-right-now orange wine.
The more unexpected opening from García is El Pollo Verde, which is a new fast-casual concept riding the wave of popularity around nutritious-but-tasty meals. Responding to the rise in awareness of healthy eating, bowls, sandwiches and protein all get airtime on the menu. The twist? It’s all about a Mediterranean take on these formats and, as the restaurant name would suggest, a particular focus on chicken. Dishes are by no means exclusively Spanish, taking inspiration from Southern Europe and the Middle East. Ingredients include spices, such as ras el hanout and sumac, Spanish sherry, Italian stracciatella or Greek kalamata olives. These come together in dishes dedicated to various countries (the Spain bowl is a salad topped with olives, Manchego, almonds, dill, sherry and EVOO), or international creations that take the best bits from a range of cuisines. The Pollo Burger features pimenton grilled chicken, sumac, honey mustard dressing and avocado housed in a brioche bun. Wash it all down with some house sangria.There are some solid lunch options to be explored here, for pick up or delivery.