A late evening repast at the Basque Tapas Bar Txikito in Chelsea was an all around fine escape in this humidity but there were two standouts that brought it home. Two itsy bitsy teeny weeny bites that I’m still thinking about this morning.
A toothpick is the vessel for a zing of flavor, a delightful Basque bar snack called Olibak. Two little olives, one wrapped in an anchovy and the other cloaked in a pickled pepper. I hope Peter Piper picked enough for my next visit. Our idea was to future pair this with a martini, Basque or no. The anchovy/olive would float in the martini and the pickled pepper combo would be a nibble on the side. They were a smash as an amuse but Basque meets Bond would be dynamite.
However, the two inches of pleasure that I’d like right now are the Kroketas, more small salted things. When the menu says “crispy creamy croquettes”, I can stop reading. Bechamel, bacalao and mashed potatoes hook up with garlic, parsley, flour and bread crumbs, add the glories of deep frying and there we are. A little pop in the mouth of fried heaven. Kind of wish there had been a little acid, a squeeze of lemon would be perfect but I didn’t take the time to ask for that, the bite was already a memory etched in my annals of favorite tiny things.
Interesting that the best dish for me was also the cheapest on the menu. Five bucks of fun. The sparkling Rose was another pleasure as was the spicy cod roe mayo served with another dish. But seriously, if not a full languorous Spanish dinner of tapas galore, at least stop by and treat yourself to a mini mouth festa. Oh, it’s the little things in life…
240 Ninth Avenue between 24/25th Street