Manzanilla Spanish Brasserie In Flatiron - NYC

Manzanilla is a new arrival with southern Spanish flavor

Dear Spain,

We'd like to thank you for lending us chef Dani García.

But you are going to have to pry him from our tortillita gaditana-covered fingers.

Because those diaphanous, olive-oil-fried shrimp crisps ($14) at García's brand-new Manzanilla in the Flatiron are shatteringly marvelous.

García is a legend back home in Spain, where his Michelin two-star restaurant, Calima, is closed during the winter. That cold-weather closure is a boon for Manhattan diners.

Styled as a "Spanish brasserie," Manzanilla has flash in spades. There's a punchy chevron floor, latticework recalling the Alhambra, and a diverse, exciting menu.

Dots of mango purée that resemble raw eggs grace cured tomato tartare ($8) in a play on the classic beef tartare presentation. Fathom the very inky depths of Bomba rice lacquered with squid ink ($26), and conclude that if a dish of glazed artichokes with barely poached eggs ($14) is any indication, Ibérico pork lardo does indeed improve everything

For dessert, vanilla rice pudding ($10) is made with milk that's slowly, repeatedly reduced for maximum lushness. Crested with a poof of cotton candy rimmed with freeze-dried raspberry powder, the rice pudding instantly induces smiles.