651 Manhattan Ave
(between Bedford Ave & Norman Ave)
Brooklyn, NY 11222
Cuisine: Spanish, Tapas
Our Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ Great
Cards: All major
Hours: Tue–Thu, Sun 5–11pm; Fri, Sat 5pm–2am
Booze: Full bar
Subway: G train to Nassau
El Born is the new contemporary Spanish restaurant from chef Diego Gonzalez and restaurateur Elena Manich. Gonzalez, formerly of Socaratt Paella Bar, has put together a tapas menu that’s heavy on the vegetable dishes, but you’ll also find lamb chops, foie gras with quince, quail with chocolate, and crispy rabbit.
Time Out says:
Catalan-bred owner Elena Manich updates the tapas of her native Spain at this Greenpoint small-plates spot, outfitted with a marble bar and vaulted ceiling. Inspired by Barcelona’s hipster-baiting El Born district, the 50-seat restaurant offers shareable dishes like octopus legs a la piedra (cooked on a stone) with potatoes and pimentón. A mix of Spanish and local wines are also available.
Tasting Table says:
It oozes Catalan chic, from its long marble bar to the not-trying-too-hard-but-ridiculously-attractive staff to the circular neon pink installation-slash-light-source that provides a welcome break from Edison bulb mania. While cozy, it’s a neighborhood restaurant that feels big-city in the outer reaches of Brooklyn.
Classic Spanish flavors are here, but the presentations are a step above your typical tapas joint. Gorgeous grilled baby carrots, radishes and fennel rest on a bed of romesco sauce. Airy goat cheese croquettes ($8) are served on not-too-sweet apple compote; the chocolate-and-spice rub on two tender quail legs ($14) becomes a sort of dressing for frisee tendrils and grapes.