I’ve been lucky to have visited restaurants without really encountering foreign objects on food in my culinary journey that started since 2011. Inevitably, a kitchen may slip in quality control, but at least I didn’t have to experience any horrible incidents of finding a piece of metal inside my food even where the food was memorably bad. So when one of my dining companions discovered a piece of iron scrubber on top of the paella we ordered, I was quite shaken. Even without the incident, though, the food at Sevilla, an old school Spanish restaurant in West Village, wasn’t up to the level that I was hoping for.
Sevilla features many of the classic Spanish dishes. There is no fancy technique or ingredient, just straightforward flavor and texture of this country with rich gastronomic tradition. The dishes we had ordered in a party of four, however, mostly felt flat. I was puzzled that the octopus came way too soft without much textural effect. Arroz con pollo with chicken and sausages was largely forgettable, and the shrimp with green sauce on top of olive oil, parsley, garlic and onions came a little bit too oily than I preferred. The best dish of the night was African lobster tails in white sauce-sherry wine, butter, milk and onions, with quite a delicious flavor of the sauce that I kept scooping on, but at over $50, the portion came out way too small.
The infamous paella that came with lobster, chicken, sausage and seafood was, save for the scrubber piece, actually not that bad, but I’ve definitely had better ones elsewhere in the city. With the way I appreciate the culinary tradition of Spain, especially after my memorable gastronomic travel last year, Sevilla was definitely a disappointment and I had to keep wondering whether we were ordering their best dishes. It didn’t help our experience that the server wasn’t quite as apologetic when we pointed him the foreign object, even though the paella did come off the bill at the end.
I had no problem getting a reservation on last minute notice, but the restaurant was quite packed when we visited on a Thursday evening. Sevilla has the old-school feel to its dining space that is quite charming. There is full bar, and the sangria pitcher we ordered was quite decent. I’m always down for checking out old school establishments that have withstood the test of time in the city, and was really hoping that Sevilla could be that kind of place with special memory in my head. Now I’m left to wonder whether I should make a return trip to Spain soon.
- Creativity: 6.0/10
- Execution: 7.5/10
- Ingredients: 6.5/10
- Flavor: 7.0/10
- Texture: 6.5/10
Address: 62 Charles Street, New York, NY 10014
Telephone: (212) 929-3189