TV Chef Mario Batali and partner Joe Bastianich are better known for their true-to-form Italian restaurants, but their sole Spanish adventure, Casa Mono, had an immediate impact on the New York dining scene upon opening in 2004. Chef Andy Nusser, who grew up in the fishing village of Cadaqués along Spain’s Costa Brava, combines classic Catalan dishes with overlooked proteins like sweetbreads, cockscombs, and pig’s feet. Diners who grab a seat at the bar are treated to Spanish food cooked à la plancha, or on the grill. The wine list, mostly Spanish, is 600 deep and includes sherries.
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Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.