Saturday, June 19, 2010

I Went to There: Boqueria

I've never known a greater pleasure than having an array of small plates set before me with a little plate on which to assemble perfect bites myself. That's what I got at Boqueria (Flatiron) last Tuesday, and assemble I did. We ordered grilled bread rubbed with crushed tomato, shrimp with guindilla peppers, blistered shishito peppers, patatas bravas, salt cod fritters, smoked idiazabal cheese, and squid salad. To drink, a pitcher of sangria made with gin, honey, and lavender. The potatoes were definitely not as great as those I'd had in Barcelona last winter, but the squid was some of the best I'd had anywhere and the peppers were far superior to similar dishes at other small plates restaurants -- both Spanish and Italian. Also the salt cod fritters were amazing -- creamy and salty with a crunchy exterior -- but they came with an overly citrusy aioli that obscured the cod's taste. Luckily, it came on the side.

The perfect bite may have been this: a piece of grilled bread, ladled with guindilla-infused shrimp oil, with a sliver of salted pepper and a cube of smoked cheese -- followed by the white peach-colored sangria, which was excellent and plentiful.

Dessert was churros and melted chocolate, which I can't compare to the real thing because I've never had it, but these were delicious. All in all, a really wonderful meal with endless bite-construction possibilities. I was very satisfied to have gone to there.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Char No. 4

196 Smith St., Brooklyn

150 American whiskeys, spicy crab soup, house-smoked brisket sandwich, shrimp and grits -- Smith Street! Chipotle bourbon bloody mary with house-made pickle.