I finally made it to Casa Mono and spent a lot of time perusing the boards before I went so I felt I needed to give a little review of my time since I used many of your suggestions.
It was a really rainy and gross day so we hurried into the place and found it almost empty at 4:30. There were 2 couples dining at the bar and one table was occupied. We decided to grab a seat on the far side of the bar near the windows to enjoy the dreariness of the day.
We order a fantastic bottle of white wine,which the sommelier helped us choose and of course I don't remember the name, and got to work on ordering.
We figured we would order 3 plates here and then head over to Pipa, another place we'd been meaning to try out, and order a couple more. For some reason we both thought the tapas would be tiny and the plates expensive; seeing that it was a Mario Batali place.
Our first dish was the Pumpkin & Goat Cheese Croquetas.
Yum!!! These were heavenly. It's a little hard to tell from the picture but the goat cheese to pumpkin ratio was about 50:50. Usually the cheese kind of overpowers any other taste but the pumpkin really came through. Absolutely delightful!
Next we got the Fideos with chorizo and clams.
I honestly ordered this because it was the dish that Iilan Hall made on Top Chef that won him the round. Since I am not a pasta fan; find chorizo too spicy and dislike clams, I figured I would at least try it and Mr. T could enjoy the rest.
Know what? I think I may have eaten more than him! The flavors were fantastic together! The chorizo was minced into little cubes so the spice didn't over power it and the sauce that was on top cooled it down as well. This is a perfect example of why I love eating out! On paper, this sounds like a dish I would loath. But somehow, this chef got everything together just right to make it spectacular!
Our final dish was the lamb chops with chickpeas. I couldn't get a picture because the sky had turned black as night because of the storm and the sun had been the only light. It was very good though- perfectly cooked with a nice char on the outside.
After the 3 dishes we were stuffed. When we got our bill we realized our moderately priced bottle of wine ended up being more than all 3 dishes put together. Really quite a deal!
So was Casa Mono perfect? Well unfortunately our service was horrendous. As I said earlier the whole time we were there only about 6 people at most were there with us. You would think that with a wait staff of about 6 people we would have no problems.
Unfortunately our waiter sucked. He took forever to take our food order, he never filled our water or our wine glasses (we had to flag him down each time) and he literally would stand in front of the bar and gaze right through us looking stoned.
So that was a little upsetting. Especially because one of the waiters seemed to notice our displeasure and did nothing.
Oh well. The food was good enough that we will be going back