Monthly Archives: April 2011

Restaurant Review: Caliu

How cool would it be if there was an algorithm to find people who have common restaurant preferences?  It would be a slightly less creepy version of OK Cupid!  Barack Obama and I would practically be best friends and apparently I’d be pretty tight with Lady Gaga, too.  She’s been sighted eating at Caliu, but not on the particular evening that I was dining.

Jamon Serrano was the perfect start…

Thankfully, we were spared having to listen to songs about boys, partying, and disco sticks and were pleasantly surprised to hear Radiohead, Pulp, and The Cure.  Not only did the musical selections deviate from the norm for a tapas restaurant, but the overall experience was quite different from Franco Barrio’s other restaurant, Boqueria*.


Our table agreed than sangria was the beverage of the evening.  Although I’m not typically a fan of sangria, this was actually very good and not too sweet.  The Spanish wine selection, although small, is also of excellent quality.

3-4 tapas are recommended per person.  The portions are TINY, so if you’re hungry you may want to order more.  Our table shared the following:

Jamon serrano – A good way to start dinner.  We were each able to enjoy a slice or two.

Pan con Tomate

Pan con tomate – Very nicely prepared.  The bread was crispy and toasty and the tomato, olive oil, and salt balance on top was perfect.

Tortilla Espanola

Tortilla espanola – Also well-prepared, the egg and potato were very moist and fluffy.  Was this worth $10 for two slices though?  The jury is still out on that one.

Bunelos de Calabaza

Squash bunelos – These are excellent!  Sweet butternut squash and a maple yogurt for dipping made these almost feel like dessert.

Calamares en Tinta Negra

Calamares en tinta negra – We were all looking forward to the squid.  Unfortunately, the squid was a little bit rubbery and everything was extremely salty.


Vieras de la playa – I felt robbed.  $10 for two small-to-medium sized, gritty scallops in a fairly salty sauce?  Ugh.


Paella – Everyone has their own method of making paella and the ingredients they include.  Caliu’s paella includes both chorizo and seafood.  The rice was well-cooked and seasoned, albeit a bit liquidy. The pan is very small, but it was the perfect size for each of us to have a taste.

The paella filled us up, so we shared churros for dessert.  There are also not many dessert options at Caliu; perhaps this is something to expand on.  Crispy and slightly chewy, these churros were definitely fresh and made even better with the thick hot chocolate for dipping.

The servers at Caliu are your pouty model types.  At times it felt a bit pretentious, so they’d probably be pretty tight with Lady Gaga (if the aforementioned algorithm means anything).

The menu at Caliu is not extensive, but many of the basics and traditional dishes are executed well.  The prices, however, are a bit expensive for what you receive.  It can be difficult to find well-executed traditional tapas in NYC, but Caliu has done a very good job.