Mon-Fri, noon-3pm and 5pm-11pm; Sat, 5pm-11pm; Sun, closed
4, 5, 6, 7, S at Grand Central-42nd St.
American Express, MasterCard, Visa
People don't come to El Pote looking for aggressively updated takes on Castilian classics—they come for the classics themselves. The dark dining room, lined with brown brickwork and with pottery, wine bottles, and curios along the walls, looks as if it's a bit in the past itself. So it’s no surprise the food is straightforward: lots of chops and simple chicken-and-sauce dishes. An especially sumptuous appetizer is mejillones al vino, steamed mussels covered in a silky wine sauce that's been finished with a little tomato and a whole lot of butter. El Pote's fragrant rendition of paella Valencia, the yellow-tinted rice shot through with heaps of everything from mussels to chorizo to chicken, is well-executed, and easily serves two. It’s worth holding off on stuffing yourself until dessert—if you're lucky, among the options trundled out and served from a cart will be a killer chocolate bread pudding cake.Recommended Dishes
Mejillones al vino, $9.50; paella Valencia, $20-$22