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Barraca's paella de mariscos

Casual, cozy and full of charm, the West Village’s new Spanish spot Barraca is a must for low-key nights out with friends.

Based on the subtle theme of a makeshift theater, the restaurant is named for the traveling Spanish acting troupe. So expect rustic wooden banquettes, exposed beams, concrete posts and even a few ropes and pulleys for accent--all opposite a wall of windows overlooking Greenwich Avenue.

To complement the relaxed environment, former Gastroarte chef (and Iron Chef contestant) Jesus Nuñez has toned down his typical avant-garde approach and instead serves up a hearty, shareable menu, perfect for a group get-together.

Of the dozen or so tapas offered, we were big fans of the pimientos de pique (sweet piquillo peppers stuffed with oxtail stew, $10) and the huevos rotos con tocino (a poutine-like dish with egg yolks and melted cheese atop crispy potatoes, pork belly and fried green peppers, $9). The small plates, in our opinion, are definitely the highlight, but a pitcher of sangria ($32) and a trio of paellas (served in a segmented pan for the table, starting at $19 a person) round out an ideally indulgent evening.

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81 Greenwich Ave. (at Bank St.); 212-462-0080 or

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