This is in response to a thread on the Manhattan board where people were comparing a tapas restaurant to tapas they'd eaten in Spain. Several people had the reaction that "well, tapas is never going to be as good here as it is in Spain, so why compare?"
My question is: Is that true? And if so, why should it be so? I think that I think we should strive and hope for tapas in NY that's just as delicious as the tapas in Spain.
The question isn't limited to tapas. I live 1/2 the year in Brooklyn and 1/2 the year in Sicily. Obviously, 99% of the Italian restaurant food in New York doesn't measure up to what I get in Italy. But it doesn't haven't to be that way: Dom DiMarco makes the best pizza I've ever eaten on either side of the Atlantic, and before you argue that pizza is really American, I'd add that my local deli in Brooklyn (Caputo's) makes cheese that would hold its own with any "authentic" formaggio italiano.
Especially in a city like New York, where you can source so many fantastic local and international ingredients, it would seem that IS fair to compare NY tapas to tapas you've eaten in Spain. So much of what goes wrong at restaurants here is simple inattention: overcooked pasta, too much oil, too many ingredients as opposed to "native" simplicity...
What do you think?