June 25, 2008

tapas and tourists

I'm back from NYC, much more civilized (ha--I laugh) and sophisticated (no, not really), very well-fed (that's the truth) and glad to have good friends (amen). I'm spreading my trip recap out over a few posts, beginning with Friday night.


I took my first train ride into the city, and I have to say, I'm a fan. It's much roomier than a plane, and the chances of having a double seat to oneself are much greater. After three hours, I was there.

Penn Station on a Friday evening is quite a sight to behold. People of every shape, size, color, and flavor are hustling and bustling around. It was like the Tower of Babel, a din composed of just about every language known to man (except, say, Bantu clicking). I might've gotten swept away if my friend wasn't there to greet me.

After a lovely hugs-all-around reunion with my girls...


(Jamie and Katie, for future reference)

...we set out for our dinner. We had reservations at Pipa, a place for Spanish tapas (and more).


We got a real smorgasbord of tapas to share, starting with some of their famous Crispy Calamari. I'm not exactly sure what was slathered all over the little squidies, but it almost made them tasty enough to earn the description "good squid," which I personally didn't think was possible. Katie and James loved it and the chewy little critters disappeared from the table rather quickly.


lightly breaded calamari rings, served with a smoked paprika aioli

Next came the Jumbo Crab Coca (or flatbread). As an anti-crabber, I didn't try this one, but I did notice that it wasn't devoured by my buds as quickly as the calamari.


jumbo lump crab meat with goat cheese, tomatoes, baby spinach, jalapeno, and mustard oil

Mushroom Croquettes came out next. I'm sorry, but they look like little turds to me, and that's that.


mixed wild mushrooms flavored with rosemary, thyme, and garlic and served with truffle trumpet aioli

The next dish was my favorite of the night--the Veggie Coca. 'Twas fresh, crisp, savory, and delicious.


broccoli, tomatoes, roasted red peppers, corn, pureed eggplant and manchego cheese all drizzled with a truffle trumpet oil

I also enjoyed some chicken skewers. They were nicely-spiced and very moist.


My friends were excited by these Stuffed Piquillos. Oh, how I wish I liked crab.


oven-baked stuffed piquillo peppers filled with delicate jumbo lump crabmeat and shrimp with a paprika aioli

We partook of some sangria throughout the meal. It was my first taste of the fruity delight, and I really enjoyed it.


Gran Torres orange liquor, Chambord, apricot brandy, Cointreau, with fresh apples and peaches

After that wonderful dinner, we headed off to visit Times Square. Good googa mooga, the place was swarming with tourists. Swarming, I tell you. The lights were mesmerizing, as was the Hershey's store...


It was a dazzling evening, and I slept like a rock despite the never-ending street noise and a frisky feline named Oscar...

21 comments:

L said...

YES. Those mushrooms do look like little turds. And I'm with you on crab.

If you come back to the city some day maybe we can arrange some kind of "hey if you are a food blogger in Manhattan let's meet for a drink!" kind of event. I'd come.

Peter M said...

LOL and the Bantu clicking...loved "The Gods Must be Crazy" and take me next time...I'll eat the crab and mushroom turds while you gals sip on Sangria.

The squid dish looks excellent...the chef fried them, then tossed them in a sauce...like Buffalo chicken wings - how cool is that?

Finally, where's Gracee in all the photos? I may have a Greek available. ;)

nicisme said...

Oh what fun! Great photos - thanks for sharing!

Ann said...

Sounds like a great weekend!

Melanie said...

Ok, I love New York and the food you outlined looks so amazing it might be worth me flying cross-country to make another visit there. What a fun weekend! I'm torn between jealousy and being happy for you. :)

nancysrecipes said...

I was born and raised in Amsterdam :) and lived in NYC for quite some time. I really miss both places now that I am living in Virginia. Great blog!

Albany Jane said...

Dude, that looks like the best wineless sangria I've ever seen.

Krysta said...

little turds be damned I'd still eat them.

Pam said...

What fun!

kimberleyblue said...

Yum! Looks like you had some pretty tasty food!

LyB said...

I am so jealous! I love crab, mushrooms and sangria. Did you know it's quite easy to make your own sangria? I've made some before and it is delicious. Like Peter, I want to know: Where's Grace? :)

noble pig said...

Sounds like an absolute blast! Love the food pics, even the turds!

Cheryl said...

Oh, looks like you had so much fun!

I looove tapas. I grew up in Spain, and have fond memories of "tapa hopping" from pub to pub with my parents. So fun!

Christie @ fig & cherry said...

That calamari looks amazing - so saucy!

giz said...

Imagine the chaos if you could have visited more than 1 or 2 restaurants a night. If there's anywhere in the world you want to do that, it's the big apple. If you get to Magnolia Bakery - take the camera - fully charged!!!! Glad you're having a blast.

Y said...

I'd love to visit NY one day.

All that food looked fabulous, by the way, even the turd-like croquettes!

Elle said...

Mmm, the food looks gooood.

cookinpanda said...

Mmm those tapas look delicious! I'm looking forward to reading more about your time in New York.

Kevin said...

You had so much great looking food in NYC!

Lore said...

Oh, I would've loved eating at Pipa too :D. Tastyyy!

Emiline said...

I'm so jealous of your NYC trip! All of the tapas sound really good.
So coca is the Spanish word for flatbread?