Socarrat Paella Bar & Doughnut Plant

A few weeks ago, I met up with my friend D to have some dinner. We had originally planned to go to a floral wreath-making class but they cancelled it due to lack of interest; boo. Since I'd already mentally scheduled that Tuesday evening as a night out anyway, I decided I would still make the trek into the city (a v. easy one via train) so we could spend some time together and do what we do best: eat and gossip.
I left work a little early to catch the train; I was going the opposite direction of commuters so I had the luxury of a quiet, comfortable ride in.

When the train pulled into Penn Station, I texted D and we met on the corner. We then walked the dozen or so blocks downtown to the Chelsea location of Socarrat. The restaurant was basically empty except for a happy, vivacious table in the window and one couple seated in the back. The host led us to our spot and we perused the menu. We were warned that the paella takes half an hour to cook so we decided to get some tapas - actually, just one tapa - to tide us over.
Because of the praise I'd read on yelp, we opted for the pork belly, which was super tender but with a delicious crisp exterior. It was served on top of a piece of watermelon, topped with baby cilantro, and drizzled with balsamic vinegar. It was great.
For our paella, we got the squid ink version. It was really well done and I loved the bits of raw scallop. Halfway through the meal, our server came by to scrape all of the crispy bits of rice off the edge of the paella pan. That was definitely my favorite part.
Since Doughnut Plant was just a few blocks over, we decided to skip dessert at Socarrat and get some donuts and coffee instead.
I bought a couple to take home, but decided to eat a creme brulee doughseed (which I guess is a miniature donut? I don't know) with a cappuccino. The doughnut was heavenly; the crusty, sticky sugar on top and the cream filling won my heart. The cappuccino was really well done too. It was a delicious dessert.
Since it was a work night, we called it quits just before 9PM so I could grab a train home.

It was a v. enjoyable evening spent gabbing with a wonderful friend. There were all these calls for rain but we didn't see a drop, which added to the perfection of the night.

I live so close to the city but I've gotten so lazy and introverted, it's mentally a big deal for me to go; I need to remedy that.