The tiny, hard-to-pronounce Txikito from former Tia Pol/Quinto Pino team Alex Raij and Eder Montero has been open for about a week and has already racked up a variety of reviews from commenters and bloggers. Both Gourmet and Ed Levine have already weighed in with fairly positive accounts of recent meals there, and commenters add some early critical analysis.
The Great News: An enthusiastic Eater commenter has a brief but effusive account of the food/service: “Went Thursday night, amazing food and attentive waiters. All was good except for the Hermes shoe wearing douche who tried to tell the staff that they were doing their shrimp wrong (they should do how Americans expect it, not Basque).” [Eater Comments]
The Good News: Gourmet checks in with a rave: "True, there’s no single item on the all-Basque menu that’s as startlingly original as the uni sandwich Raij came up with at Quinto Pino. On the other hand, the much larger selection means you can visit often without repeating yourself. Among the pintxos, as Basque canapés are called, the mini mushroom and shrimp grilled cheese sandwiches (txiki txanpi), as cunning as they are comforting, are reason enough all by themselves to stop in. The sofrito and chorizo topped with a perfectly runny quail egg (arraultza) and the earthy gratin of artichoke, Roncal, and jamón (tutera) are not far behind." [Gourmet]
The Bad News: And now for the bad news, commenter who was not so impressed: “We went to Txikito for an early dinner on Friday night, Nov. 14, and left pretty disappointed. On the plus side, it's a nice looking place and the staff seemed to be trying hard to please. On the downside, the food was mediocre at best, and in a couple of cases awful. We ordered several different dishes and they all came out of the kitchen at once. But no bread -- for some reason we had to ask for that separately even though each dish was drowning in oil....I ordered something with a name full of x's, k's and i's (like everything else on the menu) that was described as "potato chips...I then watched as the bartender dug his bare hands into a bag of Cape Cod potato chips, and dropped a few into a metal cup lined with paper, which he then handed to my server...” [Eater Comments]
The Great News: Easy Ed is, of course, an early fan: "With Txikito, Raij and Montero show they are masters of using unusual (at least in this country) Spanish ingredients...You know what's great about Txikito? The space is just as inviting as the food. Unlike Tia Pol, it is comfy, warm, and inviting, and you can actually talk to your dining companions. And unlike El Quinto Pino, you can actually sit and enjoy your food. And there's no need to scream over the music, because the music is blessedly turned down." [SENY]
The Good News: Another commenter (and Spaniard) files this rave: “The place is small, claustrophobic when packed, which it was, but the noise level was surprisingly bearable (must be the wooden ceilings and walls: practical and creative design)...Being Spanish (from the south) I was familiar with the ingredients, and I have to say the food was fantastic...Maybe not an impressive date place, but definitely worth going back with long time friends...” [Eater Comments]