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Espoleta, a new Mexican-inspired Spanish wine and tapas bar in Manhattan is warm, cozy (but not tiny!), and romantic. With beautiful interiors to feast your eyes on and some great relaxing jazz for your ears, it’s a perfect place for a date night or an intimate girls’ night out. For all the wine enthusiasts out there, make sure you visit. Espoleta takes wine seriously, offering it by the wall. They focus on Spanish wines with a dash of homemade sangria thrown in.

I visited for a pre-opening preview during the holiday season, and it felt like a casual but classy social hour, which is the general vibe encouraged by the ambiance. My plus-one and I mingled for about half an hour, enjoying the atmosphere, the music, and the holiday cheer while the staff bustled about getting the food ready. Everyone was super attentive even though they were busy, and the manager seemed to be everywhere — directing staff, talking to guests, showing us the menu, and explaining that all of the ingredients for the food is sourced from the Union Square Green Market. When he mentioned that, I definitely perked up.

The food was fantastic. Kabocah squash, cana de cabra goat cheese, artichoke, pan con tomate, fried shishito peppers, serrano ham croquettes, tortilla espanola, and goat picadillo empanada. We were treated to a couple of delicious off-menu items as well: fish tapas and a hearty seafood paella. As promised, everything was fresh and tasty. I loved every bite, but I repeatedly opted for more pan con tomate. I would go back for that and the paella alone — maybe if I break an espoleta over the holidays, the chefs can be convinced to add that on the menu! Here’s to wishing that you make a trip there soon!

Espoleta Tapas & Wine
334 Bowery
New York, NY 10012

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