Restaurant Name & Location: Txkito: (pronounced chee-kee-toe) 240 Ninth Ave. between 24th & 25th Sts.
Chef Name: Eder Montero & Alexandra Raij
Type of Meal: Spanish Tapas
What we Ordered: Here's the Menu
Láminas de Setas - Oyster Mushroom Carpaccio (from the daily specials)
Solomo - house cured pork loin, roasted green pepper
Txipirones en su Tinta - Squid, served in its own ink, with white rice (from the daily specials)
Lengua - crispy beef tongue with mustard española, cornichons
What we Drank: Txakolina Rose & a Spanish Beer that we can’t remember the name of – sorry!
Favorite Dish: The Squid was outstanding, but watch out – the squid ink splatters! The ink was a little more “liquidy” than it first appeared and the slightest flick of the fork sent black squid ink sent it flying. But back to the dish…the squid were well cooked – not too chewy – and the flavors were kept simple. If you are one of many people out there who are slightly frightened to try squid ink, it is nothing to be scared of, with the exception of potentially staining your teeth (or white coat!). The flavor is quite mild with a hint of seafood and saltiness. The squid were “bite-sized” (for lack of a better term), making it easy to eat without a knife. The beef tongue was pretty awesome as well – crispy and salty – a great ending to the meal!
Least Favorite Dish: The Solomo was nothing special. The green pepper was pretty dominating, which may be great for some, but it was a little much for me. I ultimately picked around the pepper and ate only the pork, which was good, but nothing to rave about.
Other Comments: Would I go back to Txikito? Yes. Would we recommend it to a friend? Yes. This is a very small and casual dining space. It is great if you’re in the area, wanting to stop for a quick bite of some respectable cuisine (by the way, they don’t take reservations). The food is unique, culturally authentic to the Basque region, and is made for sharing. The menu is thorough, but the specials board is what I found to be the most intriguing.
Artisinal Bistro: 2 Park Avenue, New York, New York, 10016 (Entrance is on 32nd Street between Park & Madison Avenue)
Sinful Experience Cheese & Wine Flight
Délice de Bourgogne (Cow, France)
Robiola a Due Latti (Cow/Sheep, Italy)
Langres (Cow, France)
Bourgogne Aligoté Olivier Leflaive 07
Riesling ‘Vom Schloss’ Graf Hardegg Austria 08
Fréderic Lornet Crémant du Jura Arbois France NV
Holy Cheese & Wine Flights
Sainte-Maure (Goat, France)
Pont l’Évêque (Cow, France)
Tête de Moine (Cow, Switzerland)
Sancerre Domaine St. Laurent ‘La Croix’ Loire 08
Riesling ‘Ingle Vineyard’ Heron Hill NY 07
Pinot Noir Wyatt California 08
Favorite Dish: Sinful Experience was a flight of rich and creamy cheeses. Ya know, the kind that you typically have to force yourself to “put down the knife, and step away from the cheese before your waistline gets hurt”. The wine varietal pairings were appropriate, but the specific wines were not great as they were a bit flat. Washed rind cheeses are typically a little too pungent for me, but this Langres was quite nice! It was dense, rich, and a little more complex than the others.
Least Favorite Dish: The Holy Cheese flight was just not our style and simply a poor order on our part. They were much firmer cheeses that carried a much stronger bite than the Sinful Experience flight. Of the 3 cheeses, we enjoyed the Tête de Moine best. It was sharp and nutty and served in its most authentic form, sliced with a Girolle creating thinly shaved cones of cheese. The Sainte-Maure was the least favorite. It was very intense, with the exception of the very center which remained soft and rich. As this cheese matures, it becomes more dry, hard, and dense.
Other Comments: Artisinal will not stand out as a highlight of our “restaurant crawl” in New York. Though Artisinal is a full service restaurant, since we were simply there for some post dinner fromage, we sat at the bar. The ambiance seems outdated and the service was poor. We were served by a bartender who gave us bottom of the bottle, flat wines and seemed as though he had never tasted or seen a cheese in his life. He had to ask to borrow our menu in order to tell us what he was serving and even then it took him 3 tries to get it right. Phew – hurts to relive that! Needless to say that we do not highly recommend this to you and will not be returning – have checked it off the list.