Tia Pol (NY) – Don’t Believe the Hype
I had heard great things about Tia Pol – diverse fare, fresh ingredients, and excellent technique – all at fairly low prices. Sometimes the first two get lost w/ tapas in the States since the strong flavors can often mask subtleties in freshness or expertness to the average taste bud. So it was off to Tia Pol, which i missed on my last NY trip, in hopes of finding a cheap alternative (re: excellent food) to the Bouleys & Jean Georges of NY.
1. Chorizio w/ Chocolate
Bread, chocolate spread, & chorizio. The sweetnes of the chocolate tempered by the spiciness of the chorizio but it didn’t quite work. Perhaps if the chocolate were warm?
2. Tuna stuffed w/ Marinated Anchovy
Menu said tuna, but it might have been bonito (if there’s even a difference – I can’t find a straight answer on this) – seared on outside w/ a small sliver of anchovy pressed in. Excellent – tanginess of anchovy acted as perfect counterpoint to peppery tuna. So good i ordered it twice.
3. Lamb Skewers
Tangy & charred on outside, not overcooked, good but not great.
4. Squid w/ Ink & Rice
Squid was perfectly cooked, but the ink sauce was bland. It lacked the richness & depth generally found w/ squid ink sauces.
5. Marinated Shellfish
Mussels, squid, shrimp, onions, & tomatoes – nothing you couldn’t find anyone else.
Overall, slightly disappointed – only the tuna impressed; everything else could have been found in any tapas place. If you’ve got nowhere to go for lunch and you’re in the area, give it a shot. I’ll probably try it again since it’s cheaper; now that my expectations are tempered, perhaps i’ll enjoy it more w/ my next visit?