Last night Espoleta, the Spanish replacement for the recently shuttered Forcella Bowery, started serving tapas and more to the public. This rapid transformation came about as a result of a falling out between pizzaiolo Giulio Adriani and his partners at Forcella; They kept the name and the other outposts of Forcella (in Williamsburg and on Park Avenue), while Adriani kept the Bowery space. But this turn of events may not be for the worse: Sue Torres, the chef behind the excellent and now-mourned Mexican restaurant Suenos is consulting on the new Spanish menu. This is her first appearance on the New York dining scene since Suenos closed, and a lot of people out there are surely pleased to see her return.
The menu at Espoleta is long on tapas and pintxos classics, like tortilla Espanola, beef picadillo empanadas, and serrano ham croquettes. There are also a few salads, and some entrees like roasted chicken with chimichurri, and a beer-braised pork chop. Again, Torres is consulting on this menu, so don't expect her to be in the kitchen every day (she and her husband now operate a restaurant in Westport, Connecticut), but she has promised to create weekly specials, and do a stint in the kitchen once a week or so. So do check out the full menu, below and stay tuned for photos soon. 334 Bowery, East Village