Spanish Food in Astoria- La Rioja is Missing Something

Posted on December 18, 2009. Filed under: Astoria, Date Spot/ Romantic, Fine Dining, Spanish | Tags: , , , |

Smokey Paprika Octopus

La Rioja (33-05 Broadway 718.932.0101) will supply the food- but you need to bring the bottle, at least until they acquire a liquor license. Equipped with a bar, fine Spanish tapas, entrees and a small market hocking Spanish meats, cheeses and imported sweets situated in the back of the restaurant, this place is suitable for both evening diners and quick bites to-go. A region located in northern Spain, La Rioja is known for the Haro Wine Festival, but you’ll be hard pressed to find any grapes in this place. Aside from the lack of regional beverages, the food here is a cut above the average tapas. Acorn fed pigs make their way to Astoria as a pricey delicacy, Jamon Iberica de Bellota, at $20 a pop this pig must be savored slowly. La Rioja also offers Serrano Ham as an inexpensive palatable substitute. The Pulpo a la Feiro, boiled octopus doused in a paprika and olive oil is a tender mouth-watering delight for the semi-adventurous. Looking for an alternative to the standard Gazpacho? Try to the Crema de Mariscos, a savory concoction of vegetables and seafood swimming in a bowl of rich, creamy broth. And of course encouraged at every Spanish dining experience, the bacon wrapped dates are succulent morsels both sweet and savory to accompany any dish. The prices here are reasonable and the service is friendly and warm.

Serrano Ham, Cod Croquetas, Bacon Wrapped Dates

Crema de Mariscos


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