A Tapas First

I equate tapas with lots of chorizo—and a leaden, greasy feeling at the end of the night. But this time around at Xicala, a charming tapas spot on Elizabeth Street in Nolita with lots of dark woods and a long bar, I decided to try something different. I figured I'd more than meet my chorizo quota when I go to Barcelona in a few weeks, so for the time being I—gasp!—ordered a salad. It was surprisingly delicious: fresh arugula leaves, pistachios, fat raisins, and slivers of apple and manchego cheese lightly tossed with balsamic vinegar and Basilippo olive oil (which apparently gives off a banana flavor, according to the company's website). Maybe I'll even sneak in a green or two when I get to Spain.

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