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Breaking: Casa Rubia, the new modern Spanish restaurant from the team behind Driftwood, opens Monday, November 18

Omar Flores is the chef of Casa Rubia

Omar Flores is the chef of Casa Rubia

John Baudoin and chef Omar Flores, the power train behind Driftwood restaurant, told EscapeHatch that they will open Casa Rubia, their nod to modern Spanish cuisine (including paellas!), on Monday, November 18.

“The food goes beyond simple Spanish cuisine,” Flores told me. “We’ll incorporate elements from the entire region, including Portugal.”

Flores and Cody Sharp, Casa Rubia’s exec sous chef, have created a two-page menu meant for sharing: tapas, wood-fired paellas, grilled whole fish and an all-Spanish wine list.

The simplest plates cost only a few dollars: Marcona almonds with sea salt; olives roasted with oranges, herbs and garlic; whipped lardo with sea urchin, for example.

“Meats and cheeses” include imported Pasamontes manchego and Cabrales cheeses,  jamon Iberico de Belota (plus lomo Iberico), Serrano ham and chorizo.  Tasting plates runs $15 -25.

What really excites me about Casa Rubia and Flores’ menu, though, is the section of “complex plates,” which goes bigger and bolder: a fideo of razor clams, chorizo, caramelized leeks and aoli; halibut cheeks; octopus cooked a la plancha; even salt cod bunuelos.

Flores says he’ll cook the paellas to order, serving them in 14-inch paella pans that go from fire to oven to table. He’ll be changing up the recipe over time, but the first paellas will include cuttlefish and Portuguese sardines, a combo he’s been testing at Driftwood recently.

Casa Rubia will open for cocktails and dinner nightly at 5 p.m. (The PX Manhattan sounds like a good way to kick things off.) The dining room seats 60, with seating for an additional 17 at the bar.

Casa Rubia joins a growing list of small restaurants opening in the Trinity Groves development.

3011 Gulden Lane, (469) 513-6349.


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