Friday, July 31, 2009

Tinto : Philadelphia

Given the amount of exposure and respect that Garces gets with all of his restaurants and Tinto in particular (LabanPhilly Mag Top 50Phily Mag on GarcesWinner of James Beard Best Restaurant)  I'm not quite sure what I can add to the conversation.

But I will say that unlike this poster's first experience at Tinto, my gf and I had a pretty nice experience at Tinto.  We both ordered the regular chef's tasting and were given 4 plates each along with dessert.  We loved the dark and the intimate interior, which reminded us our trip to Spain a few years ago.  And the live flamenco music was a nice touch as well.  
Amuse Bouche Parmesan Cheese Rolls - Nothing extraordinary, tasting like cheesy thin crackers.  Can't really get over my association with thin crusty cheddar cheese with artficial snacks. All I could think of was Cheese Nips.



Chorizo Pomplona (?) - w/ house made egg salad, topped with green bean (?). Loved the sausage. Fattiness made it juicy, but not overly oily. The egg salad was pretty good, though I couldn't quite understand how they went together with the sausage



Cheese plate - don't remember what kind of cheese, but I believe some quince jam, honey with bee's nectar, slices of granny smith apple, sprinkle of paprika.  Quite lovely stuff, all of it pairing well.



Berkshire Pork Cheek - Celery Root-apple Puree, alhambra negra demi, marcona almond brittle.  Tender, tender meat.



Duck - Duck confit, serrano ham, black cherry, la peral spread -  Lovely stuff, the dark sweet cherry flavor complementing the more savory gamy duck and spread very well.



Moules Basquaise - mussels, chorizo, frites, lemon aioli - frites solidly done although a little on the salty side, but the lemon aioli made a lasting impression, bright enough to really grab your attention.  The mussels were also nice, in a tomato based soup with chorizo.



Green Beans - haricot vert, almonds, dates, orange segments, paprika, sherry vinaigrette - This combination of ingredients is something that I think I'd try out on my own.  As a result, I didn't think this was that transcendent, only that what I'd do would not be nearly as well-executed.


Butifarra - house-made garlic sausage, lentils, pedro ximenez  - Lentils nicely cooked, balanced out the juicy sausage.


Rodaballo a la plantxa - turbot, sauce pastis, baby fennel, citrus - Thought the fish was slightly over-cooked, but was interesting with the various citrus pieces.



Gateaux Basque - traditional basque cake, pastry cream, black cherries - Pretty nice, this was gone before I had a chance to really think about it.



Bananas y Azafran - chocolate cake, caramelized bananas, saffron crema - Carmelized bananas were nice especially with the interesting saffron cream.



All in all, we came out quite happy with the meal, service and the atmosphere.  I'm not sure when I'll get a chance to be back, but I'm glad to have tried another of Garces' restaurants.

Tinto
116 S 20th St Philadelphia, PA 19103 (Map)
(215) 665-2474
www.tintorestaurant.com‎
Chow
($Philadelphia, $Recommended)

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