Marcelo Crespo and Jairo de la Paz, co-owners of Marcha Cocina.
The East Village may have lost a Spanish restaurant, but it’s gaining one as well: Marcha Cocina, a Michelin-approved spot in Washington Heights, is bringing its low-key, neighborhood-friendly vibe to Avenue C this summer.
Aiming to open in May or June in the former home of Arcane and Cafe Cambodge, the Alphabet City location will be exactly like the successful original on West 171st Street, according co-owner Jairo de la Paz. The menu there offers cheese boards, salads, a variety of croquetas and sandwiches, and tapas like dates wrapped in bacon. Main dishes range from $17 to $24. Those in the mood to splurge might try the lobster with saffron arborio rice, shrimp, clams, mussels, calamari, chorizo and tomato.
The chefs, brothers Virgilio and Fredy de la Cruz, were previously executive chefs at Pipa, the tapas restaurant in ABC Carpet and Home, and downtown restaurants Patria and Chicama, all of which are now closed. De la Paz also worked at Pipa, in the Flatiron District, before opening Marcha Cocina about two and a half years ago. He’s hoping the Avenue C outpost will become a new hangout for Pipa loyalists.
Located between 7th and 8th Street, the new place will be just a few short blocks away from another well-regarded Spanish restaurant, Huertas, which earned a two stars from the New York Times last year. “So it will get interesting,” De la Paz said with the laugh, adding that he welcomes the competition. “I’m so ready for it,” he said.