One day when I sit down to write a book there will be a chapter wedged somewhere between “quarter-life-crisis” and “fully functioning adult” titled “the best tapas I ever had”. Last weekend I spent the day roaming the upper west side’s boutiques. After a full day of spending money I don’t have I was starving and decided to sit down to eat. I passed restaurant after restaurant turning my nose up at each menu until I found Café Ronda at 71st st and Columbus Ave.
Typically I shy away from tapas unless I’m dining in a large group, but Ronda’s menu melted my cheap black heart because there was just too many good things to choose from.I started off with deep fried artichokes and aioli sauce, followed by beefsteak tomatoes topped with blue cheese, garlic Provençal French fries, and the main attraction—deep fried stuffed mussels.
As I sat on the quaint outside patio I watched passerby after passerby turn to stare at my table. A few even back-tracked a few steps to check out the menu.The prices agreed with my already nearly empty wallet and the food agreed with my nearly insatiable appetite that only us young twenties people are allowed to have before those deep fried artichokes start showing in my hips and cheeks.As much as I was dying to try the arroz-con-leche (rice pudding) I couldn’t have handled another bite. Happily stuffed I signed my check with an added smiley face for the waiter who was both attentive and patient when I repeatedly asked for “a few more minutes” with the menu.
Ronda is a smaller boutique restaurant that provides a charming and intimate atmosphere. Contrary to the group nature of tapas places, Ronda is the perfect place to dine with anyone you feel comfortable enough around to reach over the table with fork in hand and no shame. Fortunately for me, that’s pretty much everyone I know.
Reservations are not necessary but encouraged.
249 Colombus Ave at West 71st St.
New York, NY
HOURS OF OPERATION:
Sunday: 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Monday-Thursday: 9 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Friday-Saturday: 9 a.m. to 12 a.m.