The Black Ham of Pata Negra

East Village Wine and Tapas Bar Pata Negra

Pata Negra Plate

Located at 345 12th St. between First and Second Avenues in New York City’s East Village, the newly-opened Pata Negra recently revealed to me a whole new world of ham – an also-ran meat in a world of beefy steaks and tenderloins.

I can’t say that I actually tasted the ham – I had just eaten in the neighborhood and was only up for an after-dinner drink. Nevertheless, I was impressed by the waitress’ zeal in explaining the special black ham that the East Village wine and tapas bar now offered residents.

According to the IberGour website, “Hams of the finest quality come from pigs of the Iberian breed” which are characterized by their black hoofs (pata negra!) . Additional explanation is available on the Pata Negra website.

I think I may need to travel to Spain to truly understand why I want ham from a pig with black feet but it seemed that there were plenty of others who were ready to eat the Spanish version of Prosciutto while sipping glasses of spanish wine.

The East Village‘s Pata Negra (212-228-1696) is a modestly-sized restaurant whose primary design elements are candles on the walls and tables. I could see that the owner and, perhaps, his friends or family were heavily involved in making this restaurant a success as the kitchen is easily visible from the main table area.

A comfortable, room-wide hum of satisfied “pata negrans” persisted throughout my visit and I sensed overall satisfaction with service and fare on a chilly, NYC evening.

Pata Negra in the East Village of New York City

The Candles of Pata Negra

This I do know about the drink of Pata Negra: they have a delicious prune liqueur which will calm the soul after a rich meal. I look forward to a return visit when I get to taste the mysterious “black ham.”

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February 23rd, 2008

Entry Filed under: Food



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