Because I simply cannot cook a new recipe every single day of this month, I have a feeling this NaBloPoMo thing is going to result in a whole lot of flirtation with generalism. Will you bear with me? I hope it won't be entirely awful.
At least this post actually has a point. Which is to exhort you, dear readers, to get yourself to Tia Pol for dinner as soon as you possibly can. Well, those of you who live in New York. And not too many of you, please, because the wait is pretty bad as it is.
If you are not averse to eating on the early side, go early. You can get sloshed on some gorgeous pinot noir cava (the drink for feeling like a groovy princess), which makes the waiting more bearable, though, of course, the smells emanating from the tiny kitchen make the waiting less bearable, so who knows. Hang in there.
Otherwise you'll miss such things as a special plate of tiny, blistered green peppers (which, after Calvin Trillin's ode to the pimiento del Padron, have haunted my dreams until now).
And the tiny, curvy periwinkles that I first tasted twenty years ago, bathed in tomato sauce and served by my Sicilian uncle on New Year's Eve, but that here come flavored with ginger and scallions, because they are caracolillos barrio chino, which might be the nicest name any dish has ever had, ever. Plus, you'll never work as hard to actually eat your supper as you do here, armed with a toothpick and determination.
You'll miss the savory, cumin-scented lamb skewers anchored in pieces of warmed, crusty baguette.
And you won't get to taste the ambrosial txipirones en su tinta, which we had to order extra bread for, because after we ate up all the tender squid and the tiny mound of delicious rice that came with it, we were left with a pool of ink sauce that absolutely had to be sopped up and eaten, as it was practically the best part of the entire meal.
If you go and find that roasted foie gras with chickpeas is on the Specials menu, order it please, and tell me how it was, since we'd ordered enough last night and couldn't eat more. Also, could you do the same with the razors and cockles?
It was a great dinner: agreeable prices, kind and efficient service, warm and cozy atmosphere, and fresh, delicious food. Now if only I could get the New York Times - cough, cough, helloooo? - to profile the chef, Alexandra Raij, so that we can all learn how to make her food... wouldn't that be nice?