Tuesday, February 23, 2010

tapas crawl, part dos: tia pol

After an ethereal experience over at El Quinto Pino, our group ventured West to Tia Pol for a continuation of our tapas adventure. Tucked in the back, in a semi-private room, we were ushered to our table. A long wooden table in a wood-paneled room with large narrow windows and tea lights everywhere, it almost had a Scandinavian feel in its esthetic. And a look that had immediately and obviously scored points with me. Cozy and inviting, we sat down, ordered a few pitchers of sangria and got down to business with the menu.

We'll have one of everything. More or less.

sangria to the face

pan con tomate

jamón, chorizo palacios, lomo embuchado

gambas a la plancha, sayin' what's up

chorizo con chocolate with sea salt and chili threads

Figures that the dishes I enjoyed most are absent from my photos. Sadly, they were wolfed down in record speed. The ham and manchego croquettes, the deviled eggs with smoked spanish paprika, the razor clams and cockles, the patatas bravas, and the tortilla espanola are all not to be missed.

If you can bag a table well in advance, this is the perfect spot to have one of those often-dreaded large group dinners (is it just me or do those stress you out too?). Affordable is an understatement. We ate, and ate, and ate (and drank, drank, drank) to the point where I was borderline uncomfortable, and the bill came to about $40 a person. I was prepared to have to shell out two times that (considering two pilsners and an uni panini totaled the same amount over at El Quinto Pino...). Tia Pol was a fantastically enjoyable and more importantly, authentically delicious restaurant.

And since company plays such a large role in a dining experience, perhaps this review is a tad biased. Because a night full of constant laughter, delectable small plates, and a constant flow of libations never hurt anyone.

Certainly not our table of 7.

Tia Pol
205 Tenth Ave. (nr. 23rd St.)

FOOD: 37
LOOK: 18


1 comment:

bee and jay said...

Nos gusta mucho, éste post!
As we start to plan our autumn vacation to Madrid, we find ourselves tuning in to la cocina española.

We were curious as to the meaning of *embuchado*, as in *lomo embuchado*, and consulted our handy Spanish-English dictionary. The term apparently means *cured*, in this case *cured beef*. What was very amusing is that the verb *embuchar* can also mean *to wolf down*, like those dishes that never made it to your photo album! It seems there were many things that were *embuchado* on this particular evening!


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