Small Plates from Txikito

3 May

On the theme of restaurants opening in my neighborhood, just two doors down from Co (see last entry), is a new restaurant called Txikito (pronounced Chic-Kee-Toe) serving small, tapas style plates, from the Basque region of Spain.

We started with a glass of wine from the region (for me) and a glass of hard cider (for Mike).  Both were effervescent, different, and delicious.

The restaurant itself had an interesting look, with boarded walls and ceiling.  The aesthetic with very nice with the exception of what we thought to be a very out-of-place, bright blue wall in the back.  For such a rustic looking setting, it just begged the question of “why?”

We labored over ordering (and avoiding the peppers allergy) and eventually decided on the following (apologies for the picture quality as my camera battery charger is still MIA so I used my iPhone):

–          TUTERA: gratin of artichoke, Roncal, jamón

–          LEKAK: tender green beans, golden garlic, olive oil

–          BAKAILOA: house cured salt cod w/ crispy headcheese

–          TXIPIRON “ENCEBOLLADO”: squid ribbons a la plantxa
w/ sweet onion and pine nuts

–          CONCHINILLO: Suckling pig with a chimichurri sauce (that they put on the side so I could avoid the peppers)

Everything was fantastic.  The squid ribbons were the stand-out (with a pasta-like consistency), until the suckling pig came out.  I could not identify exactly what piece of the pig we were eating, but the crispy skin was unbelievable and the pork was as tender and flavorful as any I’d ever had.  It was a sizable portion too, compared to the other dishes (which were about 2-3 bites a piece).

Overall, the price wasn’t too bad for tapas (about $125 for all the dishes and 2 glasses of wine/cider each).  I am a person who really enjoys sampling many things when I go out, but I always feel a little unsatisfied by tapas as I really like to have a big, hearty meal.  If I am prepared to walk away a little hungry, but happy with my culinary adventure, I enjoy tapas a lot more.  I tried to prepare Mike for this, however, I got the distinct feeling that even though he enjoyed it, he wanted more.  So we got some Port from the Chelsea Market wine store and then stopped at Billy’s Bakery for some cupcakes and other sugary delights.  The feast in my apartment that evening was pretty epic, but all-in-all, I’m VERY happy we tried Txikito.

Total Nom Points: 8 out of 10

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