Elegance, petite portions and satisfying samples are part of the appeal for ordering tapas.
Whether you’re indecisive on what to order or decisive on tasting everything, tapas provide a way to sample multiple menu items.
This is exactly what my aunt and I did when she took me out to Tía Pol for dinner on my birthday.
We began with the croquettes of the day, or croqueta del día. These croquettes consisted simply of cheese, and they were delectable. Honestly, they were reminiscent of a fancier mozzarella stick.
The salad special of the day shortly followed. It contained peaches, water crest and manchego cheese. The sweetness of the peaches contrasted nicely against the bitterness from the water crest.
Next, we received a bowl of almendras marconas, also known as marcona almonds. I love almonds, and I found these light and delicious. The flavor of them wasn’t as potent as almonds you would typically buy in a store. These were simple, subtle and satisfying.
Another special was brought out to us next – paella with squid ink. My aunt wasn’t aware that this dish contained squid ink when we ordered it, so she let me enjoy it all by myself since she doesn’t care for squid ink. Personally, I was slightly happy it worked out that way because this was my favorite dish of the night. This paella was booming with flavor. The seafood was perfectly cooked and there was an ample amount of it. Some cheese was melted in, which added a perfectly gooey component.
Luckily for my aunt, her favorite item on the menu was served after the paella. This item was bocata de lomo adobado, a tetilla cheese sandwich with grilled pork loin and piquillola peppers. The bread was pressed to perfection and the pork loin was very juicy. Plus, it was cheesy and anything cheesy must be good.
Gambas al ajillo was next on the agenda. This dish was shrimp in olive oil with garlic and chili. I found the shrimp to be a tad overcooked, causing them to be rubbery instead of soft and juicy. The sauce was good, though, and it paired perfectly with the bread our server brought us. We would dunk the bread into the olive oil to soak up the rich garlic and chili flavors.
Chorizo al jerez was the final act. The chorizo was cooked in sherry and rosemary. The flavor of this meat was extraordinary because it was rich and powerful. This was my second favorite dish of the night, and I couldn’t stop eating it.
Tapas are an ideal way to enjoy an array of items. So grab some friends, bring your appetite and chose as many items from the menu as wish. Enjoy this Spanish food tradition at Tía Pol.
Address: 205 10th Ave, New York, NY 10011
Phone number: 212-675-8805
Price: $$$ Pricey and can add up very quickly.
Hours: Tapas: Mom 5:30 PM-11 PM; Tues-Thur 12 PM-11 PM; Fri 12 PM-12 AM; Sat 11 AM-12 AM; SUN 11 AM-10:30 PM
Lunch: Tues-Fri 12 PM-3 PM
Brunch Sat-Sun 11 AM-3 PM
Service: Very good because our waiter was helpful and friendly.
Atmosphere: Dark, intimate, cozy and elegant.