Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Tinto

Dave's Take:

Dear Tinto,
You should not feel like the inadequate sibling. Sure, you're younger and smaller than your sister Amada, but you've got a lot on your side. For one, you're not in old city, you're in Rittenhouse kiddo. No need to fight off the club crowd with stretchy pants, glitter and the sense of privilege because they just paid $12 for a well liquor cosmo at Glam. You've got a good crowd. That Tria loving, Rouge brunching folk. Another thing you should be proud of is you're sense of timing. Sure, everybody loves Tapas. Little tastes of heaven that change with every small plate. But you've identified that most people spend a lot of time saying "hey what's that, when did that come, who ordered that, damn I didn't get to taste it, what's that over there" and solved it by coordinating like-minded items into courses. Sure, I would hate to be a dishwasher there, but I'll be glad to eat. Oh yeah, and the food is awesome. I'll let my compadres expand on that.

Props to the kitchen staff. They were cramped, seriously cramped and working hard, but turning out outstanding dishes with artistic flare.

Wait for it, here it is………4 Serrano's out of 4. Going back for sure.

Wade's Take:

Tempo. Rhythm. A good meal has these things and a good wait staff sets it for you. When we landed at Tinto, we found both.

It’s rare that you can slow my chow pace. Very rare. It doesn’t matter what the cuisine is, I will eat it quickly. If foodie society dictates that I should slowly and gently caress the flavors of a rare arctic penguin pate in my palate, I don’t care. I eat it quickly and savor the flavor between bites. I know it’s not right, especially as a food lover. But I can’t help it. Blame it on our have-it-now culture, blame it on my voracious love of food highs, whatever – I still can’t stop myself. Tinto changed this aggressive gastronom-ific pace, and I loved it.

Tinto focuses on pinxtos (I think it’s pronounced “peen choes”) which is the Basque region of Spain’s delectable version of tapas. That means they bring it out as part of a well-orchestrated plan to keep your taste buds dancing and tantalized all night long. Right on, I say.

I tried three beautiful pinxtos, each quite spectacular. The De Gambas was shrimp, grape tomato, chorizo and chile. They were giant, succulent shrimp and I loved every ounce. The Kobe beef pinxtos I gobbled was called De Ternera Kobe, also recommended.

My favorite? Clearly the Oxtail, a perfectly salty and rich meat, balanced on a bed of avocado, sweet flavorful tomato and airy bread.

Chocolate bananas hit us for dessert. Specifically, Bananas Y Azafran, a chocolate cake with caramelized bananas and saffron crema. A perfect end note to a beautiful song.

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