Saturday, May 15, 2010

Tangled Vine

Tapas are an enduring love of mine - both the flavors and the concept of sharing tons of small plates of food.  So when Tangled Vine opened up on the UWS I was very excited.  Then once I noted how crazy busy Tangled Vine gets every night of the week my excitement waned.  Today when we were out running errands around 5pm I was suddenly starving and it occurred to me that it was probably the perfect time to give Tangled Vine a try since we were only 2 short blocks away.  We ended up ordering the sobresada & quail egg crostini, the pork montaditos (pictured above), and the fideos negros.  I really wanted to try the mushroom fricassee, but it just seemed like a ton of food, and not seasonally-appropriate given the warm weather.

More after the jump!

My favorite thing was the pork montaditos (pork belly sliders with pickled radish, baby arugula and garlic dijonaise on flatbread).  I thought it was a really interesting play on the pork belly steamed bun, which after Momofuku and David Chang made it popular, is now everywhere.  I thought that the flatbread was a welcome change from the steamed bun and worked very well to make this variation on a common theme very distinct.  Unfortunately, it was a little oily (a complaint that sadly continued throughout the meal).  Alex's favorite thing was the sobresada & quail egg crostini, which I thought could benefit from a little teensy bit of acid and a little more salt.  It was rich and delicious (again, a little oily).  The sausage tasted of pimenton (Spanish paprika) and was a different texture than I was expecting.  I had thought that the sobresada would be like any hard sausage/salami, but instead it was more spreadable - kind of like 'nduja (a creamy, spicy pork sausage from Calabria) in consistency, but less spreadable.  The last dish we tried was the fideos negros.  I loved the texture of the fideos noodles - they managed to be both tender and crispy at the same time.  Generally when making fideos you toast them in a pan first, and then you cook them in stock and you could really taste that step in the cooking process.  I loved it.  Again, a teensy bit oily, but the flavor was good.  I really liked the garlic aioli on top.

I really think that the Tangled Vine is such a great addition to the neighborhood.  The wines by the glass are all carefully curated and poured.  I loved my glass of Riesling Kabinett.  The food was all very tasty, although Alex and I agreed that each dish needed a little tweak to make it perfect.  I will definitely be back.  The restaurant is seriously worthy of a revisit.  The service could use a little work, as could some of the dishes, but it's still a fabulous restaurant.  And the portions on the dishes were surprisingly large.  Alex and I made a full meal out of only 3 tapas.  That's absolutely unheard of.  Generally when we go to Boqueria we order 4-5 at the very least!

My only regret today was that we didn't have the time (or the appetite) to eat more!

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