This week, Pete Wells visits Alex Raij and Eder Montero's Chelsea favorite El Quinto Pino, which recently expanded into a next door space. Wells finds that with those extra tables, this is finally a destination in its own right. He loves the couple's freewheeling take on Spanish cuisine:
Some of the seafood is so appealing and out of the ordinary that dividing it can test your ability to play well with others. I hated surrendering the last fried lump of sea anemone folded into soft scrambled eggs. Called ortiguillas, they tasted almost like fried oysters, but not quite, and I wanted to get to the bottom of that "not quite." My curiosity and my appetite also wanted a few more runs at the Catalan salad xató, which mixed chicory and canned bonito with raw salt cod, soaked to pull out the salt and to reveal a flavor of quietly intensified fish.There are a few dishes that miss the mark, but the critic notes that his "disappointments were spread out." Overall, Wells deems the restaurant worthy of two stars. This is El Quinto Pino's very first starred review in the New York Times.
· You Start in Spain, but There's Room to Roam [NYT]
· All Coverage of El Quinto Pino [~ENY~]