Eat and Drink A taste of Spain in NYC La Vara's melt-in-your-mouth crispy artichokes with anchovy aioli. Photo Credit: La Vara By LINNEA COVINGTON. Special to amNewYork Updated March 18, 2014 4:00 PM Print Share fbShare Tweet Email Make your next staycation a Spanish-style one by taking advantage of the country's delicious food culture that has made its way to New York City. From tapas to expertly cured hams to fine wine made in Rioja, plenty of reasons exist to get in on this trend and indulge. Toro Recently opened in the former Nabisco factory by chefs Ken Oringer and Jamie Bissonnette, this 120-seat Chelsea hot spot churns out an array of tapas you might find while dining in Barcelona. Order a Catalan stew of lobster, sea urchin and parsnip, heirloom carrots cooked in buttermilk and dill, and plates laden with thin slices of premium Spanish ham. For drinks, the restaurant specializes in another Spanish staple -- gin and tonic -- or try one of the inspired craft cocktails. (85 10th Ave., 212- 691-2360) Txikito In case you have never had Basque food or even know what they eat in this northern region in Spain, head to Txikito (pronounced chick-KEE-toe) in Chelsea for some authentic eats. Try the albondigas (lamb meatballs), txangurro (crabmeat gratin) and pil pil, a classic salt cod dish. Also make sure to order regional wine such as the crisp and effervescent Txakolina, a perfect accompaniment to the meal. (240 Ninth Ave., 212-242-4730) Casa Mono There is nothing new about Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich's Gramercy restaurant, but it's still worth all the hype. The terrific Spanish fare includes pork croquetas, leg of lamb with salted chocolate sauce and octopus with fennel and grapefruit, all sourced sustainably and make from local ingredients. Make sure to also check out Bar Jamon next door for a glass of solid Spanish wine and a splash of vino education. (52 Irving Pl., 212-253-2773) Boqueria Tapas Bar and Restaurant Walking into this Flatiron eatery is like entering a picture-perfect Spanish bar. The lighting is low, the wood is dark and there are four types of gin and tonics and a plethora of sherry to try, not to mention the menu of classic tapas including tortilla Española, patatas bravas, bacon-wrapped dates stuffed with almonds and freshly sliced charcuterie and imported cheeses. (53 W. 19th St., 212-255-4160) La Vara With this Cobble Hill restaurant, owners Alex Raij and Eder Montero move from the Basque country that they highlighted with their other restaurant Txikito, and instead focus elsewhere on the Iberian Peninsula. Expect melt-in-your-mouth fried artichokes, tomato-rubbed bread with spices, cumin-roasted lamb and Galician almond cake. Chase your meal down with a hearty glass of Spanish wine and call it a night. (268 Clinton St., Cobble Hill, 718-422-0065) By LINNEA COVINGTON. Special to amNewYork Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Comments We're revamping our Comments section. Learn more and share your input.