Once a beacon of the city’s Spanish restaurants, Solera now rests smugly on its laurels. The bustling bar area gives way to a stuffy dining room dated by white tablecloths and armies of expendable silverware. Barring a delicious appetizer of lobster and hearts of palm lavished with blood orange, expectations are seldom met. Cod “two ways” is served floating in an oppressive pool of creamy sauce; a disappointing paella marinera lacks for the vibrant and essential punch of saffron. The wise diner should stick to the bar, where simple and affordable tapas (like wedges of cool tortilla and marinated anchovies) are a fine, if not transcendent, predinner option.
216 E 53rd St
|Cross street:||between Second and Third Aves|
|Opening hours:||Mon–Fri noon–11pm; Sat 5:30–11pm|
|Transport:||Subway: E to Lexington Ave–53rd St; 6 to 51st St|
|Price:||Average main course: $33. Average tapas: $8. AmEx, DC, Disc, MC, V|