Tia Pol Review
As soon as you set foot inside Tia Pol, you know you're in for a good time. For a Wednesday evening, the place was absolutely buzzing with people presumably kicking back from a hard days work and happy that the weekend was now in sight.
Naturally, there was a wait for our party of 2, but grudges were quickly squandered as soon as our poison of choice for the evening, a nice big jug of sangria, arrived. Plus we were able to place an order of pratatas bravas (rough cut fried potatoes with spicy aioli) which made the wait all the more bearable. When you're hungry, nothing tastes better than, essentially, french fries with mayonnaise and paprika--it was delicious.
30 minutes later, we were seated at the bar (which was fine, and probably more fun than sitting at a table) and the ordering began. We selected an assortment of tapas including razor clams, lamb skewers, squid in ink with rice, chorizo with bittersweet chocolate, ham croquettes, and an order of the suckling pig.
While all the dishes were consistently excellent across the board, there was one run-away winner: the suckling pig. I will probably encounter death a few days sooner as I am pretty sure my arteries are now irreversably more congested, but my was it worth it! The skin was absolute perfection...honey glazed yet still cripsy, with all the fatty goodness that makes tasty food tasty. A sure way to satisfy any savory cravings!
To finish, we shared an order of the almond cake, which I loved. Especially since I enjoy other almond desserts like almond tofu and almost bubble tea. The cake burst with that lovely almond scent and paired with the ice cream and a slightly salty caramel sauce, was pretty darn bomb (for lack of a better word).
I am not sure whether sitting at the bar subconciously drove us to consume the amount of booze we did, because not only were we completely stuffed, but we were pretty toasted too! It was at this point when our otherwise flawless decision making for the evening went awry: another jug of sangria, and an impulsive decision to hit up the meatpacking district.
Gotta love Tia Pol!
Pictures available at: http://dru.gobbl.com
I had Tia Pol's suckling pig (a special only on occasion -- not on the regular menu) last weekend and, I must agree, it is incredible. Pretty close to the most perfect suckling pig I've eaten. The sweetness in the skin is out of this world good.
Other dishes that I ate that I loved include the fried chickpeas (so simple, yet so yummy! simply deep fried with a dash of paprika and salt on them), pimientos de padron (another special that is seasonal: deep fried green pepers about the size and shape of a finger that are not spicy - served with sea salt - really, just like I've eaten them around Plaza Santa Maria in Madrid!), and the caracoles (little snails that have been pan fried w/ oil, garlic and salt. God these are good. Perfect snack that take a while to eat over a bottle of wine, a beer or some sherry!).
Speaking of drinks -- the Spanish wine list and the sherry list are fantastic at Tia Pol. The wine list includes two txakolina (I hope I spelled that right -- pronounced 'shakolina') - the slightly sparkling white wine that is rarely seen on wine lists in US (I believe because the efforvescence is very fleeting and it doesn't transport well) - which I love.