To wrap up my birthday celebrations for 2012(Torrisi, Edi & The Wolf, Nom Wah(previous visit)), CT’s parents graciously offered to take us out to anywhere of my choosing. Since there would be six of us including ML & TL, I decided that tapas would be a great choice especially since CT’s family loves tapas. Loyal Feisty Foodie readers know that we also love tapas through our reviews of a couple of tapas restaurants in NYC. Since I recently read a great review from Chubby Chinese Girl about her experience at Txikito, I immediately knew that is where I wanted to go. I actually met the Chef/Owner Alex Raij at one of the first press events I ever covered a couple of years ago at a tapas book party.
The menu was quite large with plenty of different Basque-style tapas. There were also a couple of nightly specials. We did our best and ordered almost everything. Anytime we share a meal with CT’s parents, leaving without being stuffed is not an option.
Txitxiki ($7)- crispy sandwich of homemade chorizo hash. best sandwich ever? possibly.
Morcilla ($8)- crispy blood sausage filled bundles. We were all a little surprised when these came out prepared as spring rolls, but it worked. The blood sausage flavor fortunately wasn’t lost in the deep fryer.
Pulpo ($15)- octopus Carpaccio; lemon oil, marjoram, Piment d’espelette. This was ordered especially for me since I love octopus, but I was nice and shared it with the table, haha. It was a very good preparation. I was amazed how thin they were able to slice the octopus. Maybe they freeze it then use a deli slicer? Since it was so thin, it was not chewy at all, just super tender. The lemon and pepper added some good contrasting flavors while each remained balanced.
Foie Micuit ($10)- homemade foie gras terrine. This made CT’s family very happy since they love their foie. I only had a little since I am not a huge fan, but it was very good. Luscious and not too minerally.
Eggplant Special. The first of many of the specials we ordered and I had no idea how much it cost. Basically some expertly fried eggplant with a fresh tomato sauce. Simple and delicious.
Asparagus Special. I passed on trying this since I don’t like this vegetable, but it was well liked by the others. Especially with the perfectly poached egg on top.
Gambas Plantxa ($13)- head-on shrimp, olive oil, sea salt. I think it was only two shrimp to an order, so not cheap, especially when we ordered enough for everyone to get one. However, it was a perfectly cooked shrimp that was tender and sweet.
Txipiron “encebollado” ($16)- squid ribbons a la plantxa w/ sweet onion and pine nuts. Another dish ordered especially for me. The squid was so tender it was almost like pasta. Quite impressive.
Albondigas ($12)- lamb meatballs in minted broth. Everyone at the table loves their lamb, so these were quickly gobbled up.
Suckling Pig Special. Although it looked a little small, once cut up there was plenty for all of us. There was also plenty of crispy skin to go around! Quite an excellent dish. I’m not sure what the green sauce was, but it contrasted nicely against the rich pork.
Lengua ($16)- crispy beef tongue with mustard española, cornichons. This was one of the surprise hits of the night. Basically it was tongue schnitzel and it was AWESOME. Nice and crunchy on the outside with tender tongue on the inside. Definitely a must order!
Patatak mentaiko ($7)- crisp fries w/spicy cod roe mayo. Of course, we ordered some fries to nosh on while we ate the other delicious. The mayo had just the right amount of cod roe to give it a somewhat fishy (in a good way) flavor. The fries were a little short for my hands, so it was easier to eat with a fork. I’m civilized!
Turbot Special. We were impressed that the fish was presented whole and filleted tableside. The server made quick work of the bony fish. It was cooked perfectly. Tender and juicy, seasoned perfectly. The last time I had fish that good was at Maialino.
Leg of lamb. I think this was also a special. Unfortunately, this was the least successful dish of the dish. As you can see, different pieces were cooked to different temperatures so some leaned towards medium well while others were closer to rare. This resulted in a lot of pieces being super chewy. They can’t all be winners.
Leg of rabbit Special. This leg was much better than the lamb. Even cooking throughout. Some people think rabbit can be gamey, but the delicious sauce cut through all of that leaving a tender, flavorful meat.
Finally, we ended by ordering pretty much the entire dessert menu. Unfortunately, that menu isn’t online, so I can’t tell you exactly what we had or the cost. I had a taste of each, but was pretty full at that point already.
Pot de Creme. Who doesn’t like a good chocolate pudding with plenty of whipped cream on top?
A slice of pie?
Cheese plate with a candle for me.
All in all, Txikito was excellent. Almost all of the dishes were very delicious and I am sad that I had not been there before. I will definitely suggest returning the next time we are in the mood for tapas. It is good to know that the flavors of Spain are strong in NYC, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t planning on going to the old country soon to see how it stacks up. Thanks again to CT’s parents for a great birthday dinner.