Posted on | February 23, 2008 | 17 Comments |
When we heard that the Harvest Vine folks opened a new restaurant in Belltown last fall, we were jumping with joy. Harvest Vine is one of our favorite restaurants in town and we love Spanish food. Then I came to know that Txori is a pintxos bar. Pintxos are the Basque version of Tapas, a culinary delight we discovered during our recent trip to Spain. When we were feasting on Pintxos in Barcelona, we kept wishing how great it will be to have such a place in Seattle. As soon as we got back we heard of this new Pintxos bar less than two blocks from home, what a lovely coincidence!
Anyway, we couldn’t wait to try it, but somehow we never got around to it till January. When I had to pick a place to meet up with two lovely friends for some much needed girl talk, I didn’t have to think twice. Txori doesn’t take reservations, it is a walk in and seat yourself place. There aren’t that many tables, but we started pretty early on a weeknight, and there were some tables free. By about 7pm, the place was packed and loud (in a good way of course) and so many Spanish speaking people, it almost felt like I was back in Spain.
The menu has only about 20 dishes, and the price ranges from $2 to $6 per plate. The pintxos are not shareable, they are all bite sized portions except for one or two dishes. Between the three of us, we ordered most everything in the menu. Since Spain was fresh in mind, I can say without doubt that the taste was very authentic! The service is really slow, but having to make so many different dishes hot, I think that is expected. Here are some of the dishes we had, we didn’t have a single bad dish, but some sure stood out above the others, and we had to get seconds and thirds of those.
Here is a sample of the dishes. Names are directly out of the menu, except for a few items which are not in the menu anymore!
tartaleta de champiñones 2.50 button mushroom – jamón serrano tart
tortilla española 1.75 potato onion omelet – alioli
pulpo da feira 3.00 galician octopus – potato – pimentón – lagrima oil
blood sausage. Loved this, I had to have a couple. Not in the menu anymore.
Salt cod wrapped with Piquillo pepper. This is not in the menu anymore, so I don’t know the Spanish name.
idiazabal 3.00 latxa sheep cheese – olive oil
pera a la plancha con valdeón 3.00 . grilled pear – blue cheese – walnut .My favorite, I don’t know how many I had!
An assortment of pintxos.
ensalada de pato confitado 2.50 duck confit – orange – romaine lettuce
braised oxtail 6.00 . Can’t find this in the menu anymore as well. It was my next favorite after the pear walnut cheese dish. This one is definitely shareable, but I had two on my own.
The dessert selection is nowhere close to the pintxos selection. We had an espresso flan, which tasted amazing. This is a perfect location for a night out with friends, in small groups though. I am guessing it will be pretty hard to secure a table for a large party. We were just three, and it was great.
The food was so awesome, I couldn’t wait to go back with Siv. So within a couple of days we went back, and this time they had a bunch of specials. Actually more specials than the number of dishes in the menu! And our lovely waitress knew all the dishes, their Spanish names and the English translations by heart! I didn’t take my camera the second time, what a pity, since we had totally different dishes this time around. This is going to be one regular hangout of ours for sure!
Sending this post to a new blog event called Seattle Restaurant Review 360 hosted by Michael over at Herbivoracious. The idea is for different food bloggers to review the same restaurant and compare notes. Very interesting concept! The first chosen restaurant is Txori, since I am out of town during the event I have to send an older post.