Tapas and a good time: “This economy is causing undue stress, and people need fun,” declares Eleanor Nurzia, who did her bit to offer some by opening a laid-back tapas bar and restaurant in Millerton last May. Nurzia, who also owns Abruzzi Trattoria in Patterson, says the idea was to create a neighborhood hangout rather than strictly a going-out-to-dinner restaurant. “We want people to make it part of their daily routine, to stop and have a drink and something small to eat, or visit with a friend, even if only for half an hour. And not break the budget,” she adds. “It’s more European in its approach, to create a sense of community.”
So far, the community has responded positively, especially when it comes to stopping in for a bite and a drink. Craft beers, affordable European wines — including several by the glass — and inventive cocktails help keep imbibers happy. “We have an extensive martini list, which to my pleasant surprise has been very popular,” says Nurzia. “I’m blown away by how much people are into cocktails.” One popular cold-weather choice: the maple leaf, made with bourbon, maple syrup, and lemon juice with a cinnamon stick twist.
Spicy grilled shrimp with shiitake mushrooms, sweet corn, tomatoes, and a sherry reduction, is one of 52 Main’s popular small plates
The Menu: Small plates like ham and Manchego croquettes, Kobe beef sliders, duck confit quesadillas, cheese or charcuterie. If you want a full meal, you can settle in for short ribs, chicken stew, scallops, pork belly and such, or share a paella with a friend or two. Saturday nights, the kitchen is open late to accommodate filmgoers leaving Millerton’s Moviehouse next door, and acoustic music from 9 p.m. until midnight often gets the crowd up and dancing. “The energy picks up as the evening goes on,” says Nurzia, who is known for her friendly hospitality. “People get up and get their boogie on. It’s a fun place.”
The Setting: High ceilings, exposed brick, glowing amber walls, and a casual bar where flat-screen TVs are tuned to soccer, cooking shows, or old black-and-white movies later at night.
The Crowd: Millerton-area locals, city transplants, and weekenders of all ages, ready for a little nightlife.
Crowd-pleasers: Ham and Manchego croquettes, chick pea-spinach purée; grilled spiced shrimp, short ribs.
The Tab: Small plates, cheese and charcuterie from $4 to $14; mains $19 to $26. Or 50 bucks will get you a tasting menu of Chef Matthew DeLongis’s eight signature tapas.
52 Main Street, Millerton. 518-789-0252; 52main.com