Very recently I came upon Timeout NY’s list of 100 best New York restaurants and decided I had not gone to as many of these as I’d expected. So one holiday Friday (Fridays when I get off work at 1pm), I booked a reservation at Tertulia. The restaurant is also in Michelin’s Bib Gourmand list and their chef was a nominee for a James Beard Award, so I was fully expecting to be blown away by their food.
Michael and I split their Menu Del Dia, a 3-course menu for $25, and two tapas from their a la carte menu.
But first, I got myself a red sangria, because three day weekends call for some kind of celebration.
For our first course, we had the pan con tomate with Jamon Serrano, or toasted bread rubbed with tomato & 24-month cured Serrano ham. This was Michael’s favorite course, mostly because of the ham. It was very similar to prosciutto, and since I’m not normally a huge fan of prosciutto, I let him have most of it…
Mostly because I was waiting for the paella, but also because I was distracted by the next dish. The Iberico ham croquettes, from their tapas menu, was crispy on the outside and wonderfully creamy on the inside, served on top of a sweet/fruity sauce.
The next dish, the nuestras patatas (crispy potatoes, Pimentón de la Vera/paprika, garlic aioli), which again was off their tapas menu, was similar to something we had at the airport in Puerto Rico, but a bit crispier and saltier. Michael preferred the airport food , but I actually liked this crispier, saltier version.
Our second dish from the menu del dia was the paella del dia. which is served in an individual-sized paella dish. I found it to be delicious, but a bit on the dry side. Both the rice and the chicken were pretty dry. However, I still had quite a bit of it since the flavor was perfect.
The one disappointing dish we had was the churros con chocolate. It certainly looked a bit fancier than your regular churros, but doesn’t hold a candle to the churros you can buy from many street vendors here. I was disappointed by the very, very dark and bitter chocolate used for dipping, and the churros themselves were not very tasty or very crispy.
After lunch, we hit the “Unoppressive, Non-Imperialist Bargain Books” bookstore, where I decided there were plenty of other bargain bookstores I would rather go to. This one is small, and the selections are old and few, but their name is interesting at least! They also are right beside Carmine Street Comics, which is likely a plus for anyone looking to hit both.
They also had a pretty epic tango-themed first aid poster.
I had a regular-tasting cappuccino and a pale but crispy chocolate chip cookie, which I thought was strange, since I expect any pale cookie to be on the chewy side.
After that we decided we wanted ice cream. On our way to the Big Gay Ice Cream Shop we passed by the Stonewall Inn, known for its history in the gay rights movement. There was quite a crowd there celebrating the supreme court ruling on same-sex marriage (yes this was Friday, June 26th), so we stuck around a bit, taking in the atmosphere, and also cooing over some puppies at a nearby pet store window.
We passed by quite a few stores waving their rainbow flags that day, but I thought this Absolut bottle was the funnest.
Overall, it was a fantastic day. We had a great lunch, scored some good books, and had insanely good ice cream. But I also had never been happier knowing other people had a more amazing day than I did.