The Chef

Pata Negra Saga – Chapter One

As announced in the NY Times Dining In section, Pata Negra will finally be open for business on Friday February 8. It has been a long arduous process with many a story to tell. I will try to relate these trials and tribulations through my next few blogs. My website has been hacked and so can only communicate thru this blog site, at least for the time being. Join me at Pata Negra on 12th street between 1st and 2nd avenue for ham, cheese and wine – true tapas! I will be serving pata negra ham, Murray’s cheeses and a reserve wine list featuring wines from my private collection. The tapas bar only has twenty-four seats, so come in early! Info can be obtained at In the meanwhile, here’s the first installation.

Pata Negra Part I

After having successfully created a serious wine list for La Nacional, a local Spanish restaurant on 14th Street, as well as having changed the outdated menu, business is up 25% and the Times comes in for a review. Overnight La Nacional becomes a hotspot. I team up with the owner for a new venture. My friend Billy stops in and has some pulpo. He mentions 12th street for a cana bar. I take a look, and deem the place too small. At the time we were looking for a restaurant-sized space. This is June of 2006. I had just quit teaching for good. The owner wants $55,000 for the remaining lease (6 1/2 years) and space (equipment). At the same time we are approached by another man who wants to partner with us. Our attorneys deem the month to month lease no good. We say no, and pursue 12th street.

By Chef Mateo

Just a man in pursuit of all things delicious. Eat and Drink life!