If Barcelona is out of the question, spend your spring break cozied up with a kalimotxo or cucumber and lemon-infused gin and tonic at renowned restaurateur Nate Tilden’s sexy semi-subterranean dinner joint, where the soft glow of the Balearic-blue-green tile bar casts just enough light on the menu that you know you want one of everything. Although challenging, it’s prudent to go easy on chef Jacob Harth’s pintxos, tapas and raciones—yes, they’re superb, particularly the Dungeness crab toast dusted with house-cured bottarga, Monterey squid a la plancha over smoked bone marrow, and silky black cod with Marcona almond romesco. But you absolutely must leave room for the large plates, especially the turmeric fried chicken, sweetbreads and morcilla-studded black rice paella, and otherworldly hearth-grilled lamb neck, set in a bed of green wheat harira and doused with salsa verde. For dessert, summon a glass of Valdespino Palo Cortado Viejo sherry or Kopke port and retire to the patio fire pit, where it’s best to linger until at least 10 p.m., when the late-night happy hour menu kicks in—because an evening that ends with sea urchin montaditos, smoked pork rolls and steamed clams with merguez is an evening well spent.
215 SE 9TH AVE.