Last night decided to give Marios Casa Mono a try after hearing and reading many promising things. We had no reservation but were able to get a hold of a decent table within 25 minutes & waited over at Jamon. Bar Jamon was packed to the gills and you couldnt move but that didn't detract too much from the wonderful wine we had while waiting, Cervoles 2000 Costers del Segre.
We were ushered over to Casa Mono, seated, ordered some more Cervoles and some things off the tiny but very interesting menu. We had the Patatas Bravas, Lamb chops with horseradish, Brussels Sprouts a la Plancha & the Pumpkin & Goat Cheese Croquetas.
Lamb chops were the highlight; excellent quality lamb, perfectly cooked, great seasoning and the horseradish provided a wonderful contrast. I just wish there was more, happens every time with baby lamb chops.
Brussels were good, cooked perfectly maintaining some tooth. However, there was nothing exceptional about the sprouts, just not that remarkable.
The Patatas Bravas were good enough, nothing special here either. Thought the coating on the potatoes was overly thick and didnt love the tomato-based version. I guess its a different interpretation but the large pieces of potato and lack of crispness all added to the overall weakness of the dish.
The Pumpkin & Goat Cheese Croquetas were a real disappointment. Flavors just didn't seem to work well together. Sounded great on the menu but didnt deliver on the palate. They had great a textural contrast with the soft filing and ultra-crispy outside, if only the flavors had worked together better.
For dessert we had the Manchego cheese plate, which was very nice. The plate consisted of three different Manchegos and a little quince paste on the side. Nice finish to the meal and a very satisfying way to finish the wonderful wine.
Casa Mono was tiny, cramped and extremely loud but overall a fun experience. Staff was very pleasant, gracious and knowledgeable. I suppose I could have improved my menu selections and enjoyed the food more but will definitely give Casa Mono another shot in the future.
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