By Ava Stryker-Robbins
Paella is a rice-based dish that holds undeniable importance in Spanish cuisine. It typically contains meat, vegetables, and/or seafood, and is shared by several people.
Buceo 95 offers two types of paella—carne (meat) and mariscos (seafood)—as an addition to their tapas-oriented menu. In a phone interview with West Side Rag, co-owner Courtney Barroll described paella as “the classic dish of Spain.” She is proud that their Spanish customers find their paella to be authentic. She added that the paella carne and mariscos are equally popular at Buceo 95.
The paella carne contains saffron rice, tomatoes, peas, onion, garlic, chicken, and ground chorizo picante (spicy sausage). It is a very comforting and filling dish with a delicious flavor palette. It is individually made and cooks for 20-30 minutes in a special dish on the grill.
Barroll spent several years studying in Spain and loved the food. “I felt a personal connection to Spanish food,” she said. When she moved to Greenwich Village, she went to many Spanish restaurants, eventually opening Buceo 95 with her partner Jim Petersen, who owned several UWS bars. She wanted to bring Spanish cuisine, as well as a Greenwich Village-style restaurant to the UWS. “I thought it would be a good marriage.”
Barroll loves the restaurant scene. “I’ve always loved the nightlife of New York. I love socializing and I always thought that any restaurant I worked in would be like my own dinner party.”
The Paella carne costs $31.
The Dish: Paella Carne
The Restaurant: Buceo 95 (201 West 95th Street between Broadway and Amsterdam).
Read all our Here’s the Dish columns here.