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El Quinto Pino - Uni Panini

Went last night. Had a nice glass of rioja. The Basque anchovies in tomato sauce were very good, the salmorejo was an interesting variation on gazpacho and the gambas al ajillo may be some of the best I've had. But the uni panini- a warm Tom Cat Bakery ficelle slathered with mustard oil, butter and sea urchin was...MIND BLOWINGLY GOOD!!!!!! At $15 a piece they are only about 4 bites each but I don't care. I had 2 of them and wanted more!

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El Quinto Pino
401 W 24th St, New York, NY 10011

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  1. love uni and am looking forward to scartching that particular itch early next week. can't remember the last time i had uni that wasn't bite sized or over rice with ikura.

    1. The original comment has been removed
      1. After reading Andrea Strong's description of the "Unini" ( I believe she likened it to hot sweaty sex... mmmm, ooohhh) I had to have again whatever she was having. It was indeed orgasmic. I guess El Quinto Pino sells so much caviar de oricios (uni or sea urchin roe) that they got a good deal on ankimo (monkfish liver) which they served as a special in olive oil. Spaniards do in fact eat uni in Asturias and other coastal areas and monkfish (rape) liver pate in Catalonia.

        4 Replies
        1. re: guttergourmet

          gutter, the panini sounds amazing, i gotta try next time i'm in nyc. yes they do eat sea urchin in asturias (and there is an annual festival del oricios each March just outside gijon) but either raw or integrated into scrambled eggs, a tortilla or an empanada (not so far removed from the uni pizza that you crave eh?). so the uni panini sounds like an invention by the tia pol/quinto pino/tinto fino people, more power to them, i like the way in which they, along with the despana people and certain others, are pioneers for promoting more modern day, and some regional, spanish cuisine into NYC.

          i'm curious, i ate spanish sea urchin quite recently in a london sushi bar and it wasn't great. do you know whether quinto pino are actually using spanish uni or are they using Californian or other? if spanish, could it be conserva rather than fresh?

          btw a few months ago i bought some sea urchin pate on the rec of the main guy at despana and it turned out to be one of the few letdowns from that store.

          1. re: oonth

            Hey oonth-how are ya? The uni panini is California sea urchin. I also had the seafood pate at Despana and was underwhelmed. Made up for it with the newly imported jamon Iberico and some churros y chocolate. Of course you can have that anytime in London and Spain but we cuisine-deprived New Yorkers have to try to get by.

            1. re: guttergourmet

              Yep, I saw your post about Iberico, to paraphrase that's one small step for pig, one giant leap for NYC, for me top grade Iberico is the ultimate cured meat around surpassing culatello et al. And sounds like you're already getting to grips with the various nuances, exclusively acorn fed vs acorn/grain fed, shoulder vs hind leg, reared in Extremadura vs in Andalucia vs in Castile y Leon, the fundamental importance of the skill of the "cortador" etc. In my experience the best stuff comes from Jabugo, a tiny village in Andalucia but I'm not sure exactly what is and isn't available in the US at this point in time.

              A tip for you - check out a cheese called Torta Canarejal (sheeps milk, similar to Vacherin Mont d'Or) which I notice is available from time to time via tienda.com. Decadent and delicious.

              1. re: oonth

                Thanks-I've been to Spain albeit many years ago and lived on Jabugo for weeks. Feliz Navidad.

        2. I just want to comment on or ask about the name. Is the place "in the middle of nowhere"?

          1 Reply
          1. re: kathinmadrid

            24th between 8th and 9th- the middle of nowhere

          2. four bites? Perhaps they've shrunken the size of it since the first few days EQP was open because mine was considerably larger than just 4 bites worth (at least 6 but more like 8).

            1 Reply