Sherry, it turns out, is now big in the City, big enough to encourage Alex Raij and her husband Eder Montero, to take over EQP’s next-door space and insert a dining room. The restaurant, hidden behind the kitchen, still feels as intimate as someone’s living room, with wacky seventies-era lamps and mismatched chairs. Warm up with a glass of amontillado and EQP’s famous sea urchin sandwich, alongside some crunchy, pimentòn-spiked chickpeas and torreznos (a.k.a. “bag of bacon”). Then settle in for the evening with more substantial dishes. Raij and Montero dig deep into Spanish cuisine for some of its most fascinating dishes (their Brooklyn restaurant, La Vara, specializes in Judeo-Spanish cuisine). Here you can get xató, an orchestral combination of shredded raw salt cod tossed with bitter chicory and rich romesco redolent of the Catalan coast; or a salad of wheat berries, butternut squash and black-eyed peas studded with tender chunks of octopus and dressed in tahini—a takeo on a Menorcan recipe, Raij says. Her wine list, a tight selection built with sommelier Jason Arias, highlights the country’s lesser-explored areas, with white Priorat and red Rías Baixas and other acidic, oceanic delights.
April 2017 Update: Alex Raij and Eder Montero’s uni panino, as tiny as it may be, is one of the great sandwiches of New York. There may be no better accompaniment to a glass of Fino, and there may be no better place to drink Sherry on this side of the Atlantic.