Huertas, the year-old Basque restaurant in the East Village, will institute a major change to its menu next week. Since its opening, it has served a set menu in the back room and pinxtos – some passed around by servers – in the front room. But starting May 5, the tasting menu is no longer. Instead, a single expanded menu will be available throughout the restaurant, offering both tapas and some larger dishes.
A year in, chef Jonah Miller tells Eater, he's realized it doesn't make sense to do both. People who make reservations for the tasting menu sometimes want to get pinxtos, and people who walk in to the front sometimes expect to be able to get the tasting menu. Plus, doing a tasting menu is taxing. Some months into the restaurant's lifespan, he tweaked what had been a four-course prix fixe and turned it into a five-course prix fixe. That made critics pay attention, and was well-like by many, but it was hard to change up the menu every day.
Now he and partner Nate Adler want the restaurant to be more cohesive, and more "fun." To the new menu they've added larger plates like lamb saddle with piquillo peppers, and salt-baked trout with roasted potatoes, romesco, aioli verde, and salpicon. Some of those dishes (including the trout) can be ordered with a porron (the traditional glass wine pitcher) on the side, plus diners can expect a few surprises here and there – an extra pinxto, or drink, for example, when they order the full array of pinxtos. Check out the full menu, below: