"CATA, which opened on the Lower East Side last September, specializes in tapas and gin and tonics, a combination, it’s fair to say, not available on every corner. Not like burgers and fries. Soup and salad. Or even gin and tonic."
"But on the bill at CATA — in a sleek, brick-walled room with dark wood tables and bright red metal seats along the bar — are 22 gin and tonics, and almost double that number of small plates, all of which sound interesting. Each of the drinks is made with a different gin, a roster that features everything from Brooklyn (Perry’s Tot, made by New York Distilling Company) to Wisconsin (Death’s Door). They are mixed and matched with a surprising variety of tonics, among them the venerable Schweppes, Fever Tree and Q, another Brooklyn presence on the list.
Cata gets to be fun fast."
Grub Street | Adam Platt on the Reimagined Traditional Spanish Cuisine at Cata
"Cata’s chef, Larry Baldwin, worked with the great Andy Nusser at Casa Mono and like Nusser, he has a knack for infusing his classic recipes with a combination of old-fashioned elegance and modern heft. Our first wave of tapas included deviled eggs topped with crispy fried oysters, fried quail eggs Benedict arranged over button-size servings of chorizo and hash browns, and silvery anchovies laid out on squares of pumpernickel toast. The “Vegetables” and “Sea” sections of the menu are filled with all sorts of bounty (try the crispy prawns with chile oil, the salty nuggets of sea-bass tempura, and the stiff little planks of grilled Tuscan kale drizzled with buttermilk dressing), and if you’re in the mood for something heavier, call for the deliciously charred strips of LaFrieda skirt steak, which are arranged in a little tower, with a bed of crackly bomba rice flavored with kimchee, and a wobbly fried egg."
Thrillist | Gin. Tonic. Tapas. Bowery.
"Like the young Spanish 3rd wife of that old rich guy from your country club used to say, "Nothing goes together like G&Ts and tapas", advice they're definitely taking at Cata: a three-room, bi-level downtown destination from the team behind West Village favorite Alta that seems to have melded Bowery brick with a chateau's grand arched windows & ceilings, and shelves upon shelves of vino."
Grubstreet | A Guide To Buying, Shucking, and Eating Clams
"The native bivalve gained popularity in the early-twentieth century after New Yorkers depleted all the local oyster beds, and in 1976 Long Island’s Great South Bay was supplying 700,000 bushels of hard-shell clams a year. Eventually, overfishing and pollution decimated the habitat, and Hurricane Sandy didn’t help. One bright spot on the horizon: Thanks to the restocking of area waters by conservation groups, local specimens have begun returning to seafood shops, farmer’s markets, and New York restaurant kitchens. Here, a guide to buying, shucking, and eating them."
The New York Times | Gin, Tonic, and a Dash of Restraint
"Cata offers a staggering array of gin and tonics: 25 at last count, although the list keeps growing and evolving. And their inspiration is the vogue for fresh twists on the cocktail in cities like Madrid and Barcelona. You might say the Spanish formula is to maintain the traditional, no-fuss approach (gin and tonic on ice), but to sidestep the usual lime and replace that garnish with new currents of spice and fruit that (ideally) bring out the botanicals in the gin."
Grubstreet | Spring Drinking: 13 Spots Where You Can Order a Great Gin & Tonic
"If it's nine o'clock on a Saturday, you should be making love to your tonic and gin. The cocktail, which is super popular in Spain right now, is also having a major resurgence in New York City. Good-quality gin and tonic water are essential, but bartenders are adding an arsenal of custom garnishes, too: You'll find additions like muddled raspberries, coconut water, and even horseradish in the drink. We've rounded up exotic versions of the classic cocktail at bars and restaurants around the city, ensuring that you'll have a strong buzz all spring and summer long."
"After now having more than one meal at Cata, we are here to tell you that this is place is actually really good. Say what you will about the fact that the traditional tapas restaurant is starting to feel tired (I said that), but the food on this menu is very solid and reasonably priced. We also like the room a lot. It’s well appointed and large enough that getting a table here isn’t a huge pain in the ass, but it’s also not so big that it feels impersonal. The communal tables and long section of counter seating also make for an informal vibe, which is then magnified by the super chill wait staff. It’s a nice change of pace from the all the small, cramped restaurants around here that are full of waiters that think they’re the James Franco of food service. Don’t worry dude. You’re gonna break out any moment."
Village Voice | Cata's Rustic Spanish Flavors Are Spot-on
"You've been let down by big, gaudy pans of paella—symmetries of overcooked seafood and meat. The rice is too wet, ridiculously yellow, and always tastes of faint and watery disappointment. But pick yourself up and head to Cata, a pretty new tapas bar on Bowery. The paella there is made with care, cooked in an extremely thin layer that clings to the wide metal pan. It doesn't look like much, but why would it? Paella should taste better than it looks, and not the other way around. After all, the dish was first prepared by eastern Spain's rice-field laborers, who cooked outside with whatever ingredients they could find on their lunch break—fish, snails, maybe a wild rabbit caught in a trap."
Eater | Five Affordable Alternatives to NYC's Hottest Restaurants
" For tapas as well as Spanish-influenced brasserie dishes at a more relaxed price, head to Cata, the new Lower East Side restaurant from the team behind Alta. Both restaurants serve things like sea bass crudo, foie gras, grilled octopus, and mixed seafood with rice, but at Cata, most of the small plates are under $10 (seafood dishes hover in the mid teens), and proteins like the Peking duck breast and the skirt steak are priced around $15. You'll definitely want to order a few plates per person, but at Cata, you can try a lot of food and escape for around $30 a head."
Wall Street Journal | Gin, Tonic and Tapas
"On the Lower East Side, raucous clubs billed to the community as laid-back wine bars open almost weekly. But Cata, a new tapas spot with an ample selection of gin and tonics, is a genuinely pleasant spot where you can get a seat right away and linger for a few hours.
The highlight at Cata is the genuinely creative selection of about 20 types of gin and tonic (a large glass commands $14), including juniper berry, garlic and pippali and kefir lime. "
Zagat Blog | 8 Must-Try Bites in New York
"The hardest thing about dining at this sexy LES tapas joint is making decisions - the sprawling menu is full of interesting bites, so your best bet is to come hungry and go crazy. Must-try options include seared foie gras with rhubarb, soft-shell crab when it's on the list and grilled kale. Also, make sure to get these playful quail eggs Benedict bites, which come with a bit of chorizo and a hash brown. And while they don't fall under the "quick-bite" category, this joint's gin-and-tonics (there are over a dozen on the list) are not to be missed."
Eater | 16 Top-Notch Tapas Restaurants in NYC
This expansive, attractive spot on the Bowery from the same team as Altahas a lengthy menu of consistently good tapas. The space is equally suited to romantic dates at the bar, with prime views of ultra-fresh seafood gleaming on ice, as it is to bigger parties, with ample tables in a side room. There’s also an array of gin and tonics to consider, as well as an excellent daily happy hour menu served at the bar from 5:30 to 7 p.m.: cheese, charcuterie, sardine toasts, and other small plates are priced at just $5 each.