The West Village’s subterranean Spanish enclave parlays its moniker into stylish plates of Datiles con Pancetta, plump dates scantily clad in moist bacon, and copious cups of sangria.The term la bota has humble beginnings in the cowhide canteens that Spanish farmers fill with wine to sip while working in the fields. A laborious day back in New York can include La Bota as well, but this version plays out in a more luxurious manner, complete with a long list of authentic tapas. The West Village’s subterranean Spanish enclave parlays the moniker into stylish plates of Datiles con Pancetta, plump dates scantily clad in moist bacon, and copious cups of sangria. One of our favorite parts of the whole place? La Bota’s backyard is heated, so the food and wine will flow year-round al fresco.
Tapas here reside in two major camps: Caliente y Fria. For the latter, emphatically shout "Remolacha!" and watch as clusters of shiny red and gold beets arrive with cheese and orange slices. Or call in hot orders of the Patatas Bravas (lightly fried spicy potatoes) and the Pulpo A La Gallega (octopus with pimento and sea salt). Various versions of paella can also be conjured up in the kitchen, including the Paella la Bota, the restaurant’s signature take on the traditional dish, brimming with savory meats, vegetables and seafood. Consider us infatuated with the darkly delicious Paella Negra, a squid ink-infused number with fish, shrimp, calamari and scallops. And the perfect treat to end the meal? Look no further than churros that are bigger, fluffier and chocolatier than anything we’ve ever consumed from a cart. Whether it’s working in the field or at the computer, we’d say these are a good reward. Strap on those work boots and run to La Bota. It’s the shortest route to Spain.
Patatas Bravas, $7
Datiles con Pancetta, $8
Pulpo a la Gallega, $16
Paella la Bota, $25
Sunday - Thursday, noon to 11 p.m.
Friday - Saturday, noon to 2 a.m.