Bars & Restaurants

Casa Mono-Whose Casa is it?


“Hey Donald, did someone say say wife swap?”

Hilary Clinton wants to inherit her husband’s old job, because well, you know, she deserves it. Donald Trump wants to become president because he believes he can appeal to everyone’s inner arsehole. The spectacle that is the U.S. Election campaign is well under way. Most people know how they feel about the Donald. Hilary generates more complex sentiments. What is clear is that she remains America’s first wife; she reminds most men of their first wives…

Women usually inherit their husband’s old job running the country in places like India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Pakistan. In fact, if you are a South Asian woman with political aspirations, the best way to advance your career is to marry an ambitious polititician and wait for the poor blighter to get shot. The Nehru/Gandhi clan in India, the Bandaranaike/Kumaranatunge’s in Sri Lanka, Zia and Hasina in Bangladesh and the Bhutto’s in Pakistan have all used a variant of the same playbook.

Fortunately for Hilary her husband is still around. Unfortunately for her, he reminds people of how much sleaze he washed away with his mixture of huge charm and Protean political skills. Bill also had the common touch; he touched and slept with many common people. It’s not part of Hilary’s arsenal, so she tries desperately to appear boring and ordinary.


Casa Mono near Union Square

Casa Mono near Union Square

I was at Casa Mono in New York City, the kind of restaurant Hilary might visit. It’s boring and ordinary on the outside, seemingly even a bit of a dive. Inside it’s a different story. This tapas restaurant rightfully deserves its Michelin star.

My dinner companions from the HR department were running late. I couldn’t wait at the bar – this tiny restaurant (45 covers perhaps?) has given up its bar counter to diners. I was sent round the back to the neighboring Bar Jamon wine bar run by the same people. Bar Jamon and Casa Mono share an excellent Spanish dominated wine list. I sipped a very good Orleans Borbón Manzanilla sherry, minerally with just the right hint of sweetness.

This place is tiny

This place is tiny

Later, we ate some amazing tapas in a single room space with a view of the open kitchen. The stand-out for me was a dish of sea urchin and creamy scrambled eggs, the eggs providing the right balance for the rich unctuous flesh. Service can be variable. The waiter forgot to place our charcuterie order, but made up for it by being extremely solicitous and generous when we sent back not one, but two bottles of the pricey Equipo Navazos sherry at the end of our meal. The third bottle was delicious.

Despite a beguilingly simple presentation, Casa Mono is expensive and rather special. A bit like Hilary then.
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2017-04-12T12:18:12+00:00August 4th, 2015|