Pata Negra and the Cloisters
It was a busy weekend in I YUM New York land. My good friend from high school and his wife were up from Ohio for a mutual friend’s wedding. Since there are so many great places to eat around here, we wanted to take them to a great neighborhood spot. Dr. Awesome suggested one of our new favorite places, located on 12th street and 1st avenue: Pata Negra. We’ve only been to this place three times, but have always had great food and service. It’s pretty tiny and there’s only one guy that comes around and takes the orders and another that cooks. From our first experience there, we tried the dish that the place was named after: Pata Negra. It’s a Spanish dried ham (sort of like prosciutto) that comes from free range pigs that roam oak forests along the border between Spain and Portugal, and eat only acorns. It is the most delicious, melt-in-your-mouth ham you will ever eat. What’s amazing is that you can also taste the acorns in the meat which gives it a great nutty flavor.
Along with that, we ordered this Manchego cheese platter.
There was a lot more ordered, like some grilled peppers, chorizo and blood sausage, a frittata, shrimp with garlic and an empanada that was filled with Manchego cheese and Portuguese sausage. Everything was so good that I forgot to take photos! What’s so great about this place is that the guy who takes your order is so passionate about the food and very appreciative to the customers.
With bellies full and the sun shining, we walked through the park to get to our final destination. I never realized that this place was here and that they brought all this medieval art and architecture to the city. It’s really amazing how they were able to create such place and not destroy the things brought over in the process.
My friend told me that the Cloisters is known for their unicorn tapestries. They were amazing. I didn’t take any photos in there because the lights were so dim in order to keep them from deteriorating. I didn’t want to be that one obnoxious person. Here’s a photo from the museum’s website: Unicorn Tapestry. I was also told that there are different depictions of lions because no one knew what a lion looked like. It’s a really interesting place to go check out.
Tomorrow I will post some more photos of my cucumbers (yes, plural!). I didn’t realize that I had more growing when I took a photo of that first one. I have about four right now. Keeping my fingers crossed that they’ll actually grow into full veg. I also have photos of our meal that we cooked with ingredients from the Tompkins Square Park farmers market. It’s really amazing the difference of how fresh everything is vs. buying in a supermarket.