The pitter-patter of poquito pata ...
Pata Negra literally translates to "black hoof" or "black leg," but more importantly for city foodies -- it means the arrival a new spot that serves the coveted JamÃ³n IbÃ©rico -- a cured ham unique to Spain and only recently available on this side of the pond.
The cozy sliver of a wine/tapas bar is the new kid on the block on East 12th Street between First and Second avenues ... and what a yummy addition! Urbanite stumbled upon the cafe, which opened in early February, Friday night.
Here we have a brief history on the jamÃ³n from the Pata Negra Web site:
"Until recently, jamÃ³n ibÃ©rico was not available in the U.S. In 2005 the first producer in Spain, Embutidos y Jamones Fermin, was approved by the U.S.D.A. to export ibÃ©rico ham products to the U.S. The first jamÃ³ns ibÃ©ricos were released for sale in the United States in December, 2007, with the bellota hams due to follow in July 2008. "
Anyway - it's a sweet spot even for those not so keen on ham. There's a great selection of wines and cheese from Murray's cheese shop, and proprietor Raphael Mateo is on hand, padding from table to table with recommendations and friendly chat.
If you go: 345 East 12th St.; btwn 1st & 2nd Ave.; (212) 228-1696
-- Lauren Johnston