La Fonda Del Sol

La Fonda Del Sol

Fonda del Sol 1

LOCATION 200 Park Avenue (at 44th Street and Vanderbilt Avenue) MetLife Building, New York, NY 10166

OPENED January 19, 2009

RESERVATIONS (212) 867-6767, additional: (212) 867-6867


OWNER/OPERATOR Patina Restaurant Group
Nick Valenti, Restaurateur and CEO


GENERAL MANAGER Santiago Pesantez

WINE DIRECTOR Nicholas Nahigian

MENU Modern Spanish Cuisine, with Latin influences and a focus on tapas.
Separate menus for the bar room and the dining room.

LAYOUT The split-level area consists of a bar room on the ground floor and a dining room on the upper level, separated by an illuminated glass wall behind the bar with an etched pattern.


DESIGN A sophisticated color palette mixes vibrant and neutral shades to revitalize the restaurant for the 21st century while still honoring its abstract, iconic design roots by Alexander Girard. Banquettes are upholstered in a vivid striped Paul Smith fabric; café floor is made up of black and white checkerboard terrazzo complemented by the geometric square ceiling pattern; bright red chairs and bar stools provide a pop of color. The dining room has an intimate atmosphere with dark brown limed oak panels and up-lighting, as well as a wine room. A three-dimensional oculus in the ceiling creates depth.



CAPACITY 80 seats in lounge, 24 stools at tapas bar
106 in main dining room

Review By Nancy Walman

Fonda del Sol NYC 2


A Classic: Even Better The Second Time Around

Patina Restaurant Group opened La Fonda del Sol on January 19, 2009, with Josh DeChellis as Executive Chef – 47 years after its inception. The restaurant provides an unprecedented stage for modern Spanish cuisine in New York. The menu includes an expansive selection of dishes from across Spain, with a focus on tapas.

“I was inspired not to duplicate our iconic property from the 1960’s, but rather to reinterpret its culinary ambition, high style and design,” said Patina Restaurant Group’s renowned restaurateur Nick Valenti. “La Fonda del Sol was ahead of its time and had a fresh, exotic appeal that I wanted to bring back.”

Chef Josh DeChellis’ extended stays in Spain, working at Martín Berasategui in Lasarte, Adolfo in Toledo and Arzak in San Sebastián, have allowed him to not only research but also to experience the unparalleled variety and nuances of the country’s cuisine and culture. Born in Bogota, Colombia, his background lends a Latin overlay to the menu at La Fonda del Sol, as does his creativity and clean, authentic style honed during his years as chef at some of New York’s most interesting restaurants including Sumile and Bar Fry.

La Fonda is bound to establish DeChellis as one of America’s most talented young chefs. Of a multi-course dinner, there wasn’t one clinker. Exquisite baby scallops were served raw in their shell with a squeeze of Meyer’s lemon as a teaser. This was followed by sushi grade Tuna Tacos with avocado and jalapeño pickled onion and the traditional Salt Cod Croquetas (like a Brandade) with romesco sauce. The next appetizer course consisted of Potted Duckling and Pork
with Oloroso Sherry wine on toasted bread, dramatically mixed tableside, the subtle flavor, a devastating and clever play on “Rillettes.” Equally wonderful, were melt in your mouth Braised Pork Cheeks with
judiones beans, sausage and parsnips and fresh asparagus with hand carved acorn fed Iberian ham and breaded Quail Egg on Micro Greens proved that less is definitely more and simple is always better.

For entrees we chose the not to be missed Cochinillo/Suckling Pig, with smoked dates and almonds. The parchment crisp skin and moist meat arrived in an aesthetic and contemporary presentation. Wild Halibut with shaved Hearts of Palm was lovely and Potatoes Brava, a side, should win the award as the best potato dish of the year.

You must precede desserts with Artisan Cheeses: Idiazabal, Valdeon Blue, Caña de Cabra, and Manchego or slices of “Pata Negra,” a remarkable ham, previously unavailable in America, with a glass of the unique dark dessert wine from Uruguay. But save room for a truly “Wicked” Chocolate Cake with Manjari Chocolate, Guajillo Chile, Cinnamon and Milk Ice Cream and the best Bunyols/Cinnamon Fritters we’ve ever tasted, here, served with Salty Caramel, Maracuya, Peppercorn Rose, and Orange Chocolate sauces.

The wine list is beautifully chosen and very reasonably priced (check out the two Cavas), as is the food. There is a fine selection by the glass. Signature cocktails are generous, wonderful and creative with the Margarita and Pisco Sour stealing the show. Service is rewarding, benevolent and professional.

The original La Fonda Del Sol was one of the first theme restaurants, created by Joe Baum and designed by Alexander Girard in the early sixties. Abstract and iconic, Girard’s design was reverent in its use of cultural references and folk art, and incorporated graphics, signs, menus, and matchboxes, in addition to tableware and uniforms.

This time around, The Patina Group commissioned Tihany Design to conceive the new space. Tihany utilized a sophisticated color palette mixing vibrant and neutral shades and sunburst graphics throughout – even extending to the china – to revitalize the restaurant for the 21st century, while still honoring its historical design roots. Tihany’s innovative design has breathed an inspired second wind into the original concept for a modern and lively result.

The split-level area consists of a café bar on the ground floor, and a dining room on the upper level. The two spaces are separated by an illuminated glass wall behind the bar with an etched sunburst pattern in order to enable guests in the café to see the action in the dining room. The café floor is made up of black and white checkerboard terrazzo reminiscent of the original La Fonda Del Sol, which is complemented by the geometric square ceiling pattern. Classic limed oak panels cover the walls while bright red chairs and bar stools, both with metal bases, provide a pop of color.

From the café bar, a softly lit stairwell leads guests up a short distance to the dining room. A carpet with sunburst patterns in hues of violet, mulberry, and cream atop dark brown covers the floor, harmonizing with a three-dimensional oculus ceiling feature to create depth. Gold leaf coats the highest point of the oculus. Dark brown limed oak panels with up-lighting at the top edge cover walls creating an intimate atmosphere. With a sophisticated color palette throughout, the back banquette is upholstered in brown, burgundy, and mulberry striped fabric, with custom dining room chairs in similar plum shades; all evocative of vibrant Latin American colors. Bursts of breathtaking flowers accentuate the whole. A wine room offering a premium selection of wine is visible in the back of the dining room. A photographic installation of abstract images representing matadors continues the vivid color story.

La Fonda del Sol Tuna Tacos

The Fabulous Tuna Tacos

La Fonda del Sol is located at 200 Park Avenue (enter on 44th Street and Vanderbilt Avenue) in the MetLife Building.Guests can make reservation by calling (212) 867-6767.

New York has finally received the luxury Spanish restaurant it has been waiting for. La Fonda del Sol is a dream come true and the finest Spanish restaurant in Manhattan. It is absolutely on a par with the city’s best French and Italian restaurants and rates A Major on the Walman Report.

Copyright 2009 By Punch In International. All Rights Reserved

(Menus Subject to Change)


Garbanzo and Chorizo Soup, escarole, olive oil 8.50

S e a f o o d

Sea Scallops a la Plancha
potato, spicy salsa verde, lime 8.50

Tuna Tacos, avocado, jalapeño pickled onion 9.50

Salt Cod Croquetas, romesco sauce 8.

Crisp Fried Shrimp, chili salt, lemon 9.50

Octopus, potatoes, vinagreta 8.

Garlic Shrimp “Cazuelita”
olive oil, chile pods, garlic chips 12.

Piquillo Peppers, bacalao, truffle oil 8.


Blistered Baby Green Peppers 6.

Shaved Vegetables, salad greens, pear juice dressing 8.

Spicy Potatoes “Bravas” 4.50
Bravas with a fried duck egg, additional 2.

Marcona Almonds and Arbequina Olives 4.

Pa Amb Tomàquet 3. per person
toasted bread, tomato, fruity olive oil, sea salt


L a f o n d a d e l s o l 2009

M e a t

Boneless Chicken Wings, manzanilla olives 9.

Short Ribs of Beef
pomegranate celery root, Tempranillo 9.50

Veal Terrine Croquetas 9.

Beef Empanadas, caramelized onions, cinnamon 8.50

Salchichón de Vic
cured pork loin, chorizo, Catalonian fuet 11.

Potted Duckling and Pork
oloroso sherry wine, toasted bread 11.

Iberian Serrano Ham, cured 18 months 12.

“Albondiguillas” Meat Ball Skewers
tomato, pimentón 8.

Potatoes with Chorizo “Riojano” 4.50

Potato Tortilla “Española”, bacon, aioli 4.50

C h e e s e

Queso Iberico Croquetas, membrillo 8.

Artisan Cheeses
Idiazabal, Valdeon Blue, Caña de Cabra, Manchego 14.




Calamari a la Plancha
salad greens, migas, lemon 13.

Octopus, potatoes, pimentón, olive oil 14.

Jumbo Prawn a la Plancha, spicy sofrito 16.

Sea Scallops Tiradito
chiles, citrus, tomato, cilantro 12.

Kampachi Tiradito
pickled golden pineapple, avocado, jícama 14.


Braised Pork Cheeks
judiones beans, sausage, parsnips 13.

Jamón de Bellota
hand carved acorn fed Iberian ham 18.

Shaved Vegetables
winter salad greens, pear vinagreta 12.

bib lettuce, almond dressing 12.

Oxtail “Sopa Seca”
winter greens, white beans,
bread and ewes milk cheese 13.

L a f o n d a d e l s o l 2009
G r I l l
“with garlic confit, lemon-olive oil,
chile pepper salt and steak red mojo”
Serves two 48. pp

New York Sirloin Steak 39.

Filet Mignon 39.

Atlantic Cod
tiny clams, parsley sauce, smoked potato 28.

Rodaballo/Turbot a la Plancha
red peppers del Piquillo, saffron 34.

Organic Salmon Fillet, carrot essence, salsify 28.

Cochinillo/Suckling Pig, smoked dates, almonds 28.

Loin of Lamb
pumpkin seed crust, lemon-honey glaze 38.

Organic Breast of Chicken
Pedro Ximenez sherry, bay leaf 24.

S I d e d I s h e s
Garbanzo Beans, spinach leaf pimentón 7.

Setas/Mushrooms, oloroso sherry wine 11.

Potatoes “Al Tenedor”, beef marrow, chives 9.

Caramelized Brussels Sprouts 7.

Spicy Potatoes “Bravas” 8.

L a f o n d a d e l s o l 2009

Tuna Tacos, avocado, jalapeño pickled onion 9.50

Surf Clam Ceviche, cilantro, lime, jalapeño 8.

Salt Cod Croquetas, romesco sauce 8.

Garlic Shrimp “Cazuelita”
olive oil, chile pods, garlic chips 12.

Potted Duckling and Pork
oloroso sherry wine, toasted bread 11.

Salchichón de Vic
cured pork loin, chorizo, fuet Catalán 12.

Empanadas, beef, caramelized onions, cinnamon 8.50

Veal Terrine Croquetas 11.

“Albondiguillas” Meat Balls Skewers
tomato, pimentón 8.50

Short Ribs of Beef
pomegranate celery root, Tempranillo 9.50

Queso Iberico Croquetas, membrillo 8.

Pa Amb Tomàquet 3. per person
toasted bread, tomato, fruity olive oil, sea salt

L A F O N D A D E L S O L 2009

Wicked Chocolate Cake
Manjari Chocolate, Guajillo Chile, Cinnamon, Milk Ice Cream

Tarta de Manzana Deliciosa
Apple Tart, Almond Cream, Apricot Ice Cream

Crema Catalana
Burnt Valencia Orange, Cinnamon Custard

Bunyols/Cinnamon Fritters
Salty Caramel, Maracuya, Peppercorn Rose, Orange Chocolate

Fresh Mango Salad
Lemon-Basil Sorbet

Helados de Fruta / Sorbets
Guava, Passion fruit “Maracuya”, Lemon-Basil

Helados con Nata / Ice Creams
Mexican Chocolate-Coffee, Vanilla Bean, Horchata de Chufa/Tiger Nuts

Assortment of Cookies

Artisan Cheese from Spain
Valdeon Blue, Smoked Idiazabal, Caña de Cabra, Manchego

Espresso 3.50 Tea 3.50
Coffee 3.50 Cappuccino 3.50
Dessert Wines
Tannat, Familia Deicas “Tannat” Juanico, Uruguay, 2004 12.
Garnatxa, Emporda “Airam” Espelt, Spain, 2001 9.
Zinfandel/Petite Sirah, T-Vine, Psycadelic Rooster “Stickey” Napa Valley 14.
Verduzzo, Ramandolo, Veneto, Italy, 2006 12.
Moscato, Michele Chiarlo “Nivole” Moscato d’Asti, Piemonte, Italy, 2007 9.
Vin Santo, Monticelli Brothers, Napa Valley, 2003 13.
Ruby, Graham, Six Grapes, Portugal 8.
NV, White Port, Dow, Portugal 8.
Late Bottle Vintage 2000, Sandeman, Portugal 9.
10yr Tawney, Casa de Santa Eufemia, Portugal 11.
20yr Tawney, Sandeman, Portugal 15.
1994, Dow, Portugal 16.
1991, Graham, Portugal 22.
1985, Warres, Portugal 28.
Generosos (Sweet)
Cream, Alvear, Montilla-Moriles, S.A. 6.
Palo Cortado, Emilio Lustau “1/50” Jerez 9.
Amontillado, El Maestro “12 Año” Jerez 8.
Moscatel, Emilio Lustau “Emil” Jerez 10.
Moscatel, Jorge Ordonez, “Selection 1” Malaga, 2006 12.
Pedro Ximenez de Añada, Montilla-Moriles, Alvear SA, 2004 13.
Tintilla de Rota, Emilio Lustau, Solera Riserva, Jerez 16.
L a f o n d a d e l s o l 2009

La Fonda del Sol translates to “inn of the sun” and was first open from 1960 to the early 1970’s, on 51st Street near Rockefeller Center. The visionary “theme” restaurant was hailed as ahead of its time by many critics, with a menu that brought Latin and Spanish cuisine to New York for the first time in a fine dining setting. It was a concept by the late Joseph Baum, Restaurant Associates’ famed impresario.

“As a successor company to Restaurant Associates, Patina Restaurant Group is excited to bring a great new restaurant to New York’s dining scene,” said Nick Valenti. “With high-profile flavors and menus at different price points, La Fonda del Sol will be a modern take on Spanish cuisine, a reflection of the way that people eat today.”

About Patina Restaurant Group
Patina Restaurant Group ( is the nation’s leading multi-concept operator in the premium segments of the restaurant and food service industry. On the East Coast its portfolio features New York City’s world-famous Rockefeller Center Ice Rink, Rock Center Café, The Sea Grill, Brasserie, Brasserie 8 ½, Naples 45 and The Grand Tier Restaurant at the Metropolitan Opera. Other East Coast properties include Tutto Italia Ristorante at the Epcot World Showcase in Orlando, FLA and Tanglewood Music Center in Lenox, MA.

On the West Coast the portfolio includes the renowned Patina Restaurant in Walt Disney Concert Hall, Nick & Stef’s Steakhouse, Café Pinot at the Maguire Gardens, Zucca Ristorante, Catal and three other restaurants in Anaheim’s Downtown Disney District®, Leatherby’s Cafe Rouge at the Orange County Performing Artscenter, Pinot Brasserie in Las Vegas and catering and food service in museums and cultural centers throughout Southern California.

About Tihany Design
Tihany Design ( is a design firm that addresses every aspect of design, from architecture to interiors, furniture, product design, exhibitions, and graphics, and has distinguished itself by its cutting-edge approach to hospitality design. Tihany has conceived interiors for over 300 of the most innovative and highly acclaimed restaurant and hotel projects in the world. His design concepts and discerning eye for detail have elevated the dining experience to an art form, catapulting raw architectural space to its extraordinary visual and emotional potential. Widely regarded as the preeminent hospitality designer in the world today, Tihany’s sophisticated, often groundbreaking, designs are the result, in part, of his unique global perspective. He was born in Transylvania in 1948, raised in Israel, and earned his architectural degree from the Politecnico di Milano (School of Architecture & Design) in Italy. He moved to New York City in 1976 and established Tihany Design in 1978.