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come on - be serious for a moment. He's got a bio-mass generator fired off the animal waste to drive the turbine.

 

someone who I know and I like floated the idea of a galician seafood place to me. I think its a lovely idea until you realize you'd have to charge high-end sushi like prices to make economics work.

 

 

I'm thinking that's the real problem of any ingredient-driven cuisine...certainly in transporting it internationally...but even regionally....why aren't there any Louisiana-ish restaurants outside of Louisiana? but then you realize how expensive it would be to actually import all those ingredients to NY....

 

this where the Batali - treating the northeast as a region of Italy - style makes sense....

 

The transportation costs aren't the issue at all. The issue is that people in nyc don't like paying for food - they'll pay for booze, they'll pay for brand names, but in general they won't pay anywhere near the prices of good fish and seafood.

 

 

but the ingredients are expensive for multiple reasons....

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come on - be serious for a moment. He's got a bio-mass generator fired off the animal waste to drive the turbine.

 

someone who I know and I like floated the idea of a galician seafood place to me. I think its a lovely idea until you realize you'd have to charge high-end sushi like prices to make economics work.

 

 

I'm thinking that's the real problem of any ingredient-driven cuisine...certainly in transporting it internationally...but even regionally....why aren't there any Louisiana-ish restaurants outside of Louisiana? but then you realize how expensive it would be to actually import all those ingredients to NY....

 

this where the Batali - treating the northeast as a region of Italy - style makes sense....

 

The transportation costs aren't the issue at all. The issue is that people in nyc don't like paying for food - they'll pay for booze, they'll pay for brand names, but in general they won't pay anywhere near the prices of good fish and seafood.

 

 

but the ingredients are expensive for multiple reasons....

yeah but the galician stuff is crazy expensive in galicia. it takes a lot percebes to amortize the cost of a dude drowning.

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I am willing to go there for Spanish cider which I like very, very much.

 

I think you're in a tiny minority - 99% of his potential diners are going to try Spanish cider exactly once.

 

I fully agree. The characterization of the place is pure gimmick.

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Nice - a menu. I'm guessing the Boqueria owner (that said Chef Mullen pushed things too far) drew his line in the sand somewhere just shy of a dish like this:

 

tosta erizos – 12

Sea-urchin, goat’s milk butter, grilled jalapeño

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Tertulia is a pretty solid hit. It's probably the closest New York has come to an actual Spanish taparia. (Forget the "sideria" promotion -- I didn't see any particular mention of cider [although there's a very solid wine list].) You won't think you're in Spain. But you also won't think, as is usually the case, that this place is impossible (or at least implausible).

 

Tertulia is in fact in the old La Palapa space on Sixth Avenue near Waverly, right next door to Soto (which, given that it's unmarked, is a pretty useless landmark). Pretty total redo, as far as I can tell. The dining room seems pleasant, although of course I met a friend at the bar.

 

The menu ranges from "Embutidos, Quesos, y Tostas" to "Tapas y Sartenes" to "Platos Familiares". They get the sizes roughly right -- items aren't huge the way they are most New York places -- but they mess up portioning in another way. Everything comes in twos, so even though the individual tapas and tostas make sense as portions for one person, you can't order only one of them. The "family plates" are huge.

 

I like the food here much more than at Chef Mullen's prior ventures. (Boqueria's flaws were obvious, but I wasn't that big a fan of his work at Suba, either.) He acknowledges tradition here, but he's not hidebound. Dishes have tweaks that make them interesting, but they're recognizably Spanish. And based on opening night performance, execution is really fine.

 

Probably my two favorite things were tostas: "tosta matrimonio", black and white anchovies on toast with roasted tomato, a mild sheep cheese, and sweet vinegar; and "tosta huevo roto y jamon Iberico", creamy slow-cooked egg, ham, and I think some potato as well.

 

There was a house-smoked Spanish mackerel on fava beans that was just wonderful. And the lamb meatballs in red sauce with queso fresco were also exceptional, for what they were.

 

A share plate of chorizo (and stuff) with chickpeas exemplified the general approach here: mixed into the chickpeas was a mild Cabrales, a nice touch that added just the extra flavor to set the dish off.

 

Our barmates forced us to try their dessert, flan with chocolate-covered coffee beans. The bittersweet beans prevented the pudding from cloying, as it often does. Another example of the beneficial "interventionist" approach here.

 

The wine list is very well curated. They left all the boring stuff out, leaving a good selection of "interesting" Spanish wines -- we had a Monje from the Canary Islands, one of my current fave wine districts -- as well as mainstream faves like old LdH Riojas. Mark-ups were reasonable.

 

I enjoyed Tertulia a lot. I have a feeling that, come September, it will be impossible to get into, so I might not be able to make it a regular hangout till winter. I have no doubt it'll be around for a while.

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