El Quinto Pino
Tia Pol, the only truly authentic tapas bar in New York City, spawned an equally lovable sibling in the western reaches of Chelsea. The pint-size creamy space with tall ceilings and an impressive curved marble counter is packed with savvy tapeadores sipping pomades—Menorcan gin lemonade with fresh basil—and nibbling on feather-light deep-fried, house-cured cod fingers; fat, silky Basque anchovies served atop refreshing tomato pulp; and dangerously addictive torresnos (Ribera del Duero-style pork crackling). As for the decadent pressed sandwich of sea urchin zapped with Korean mustard oil, it's New York's current "it" sandwich.
Tip: Still hungry? Stroll over to Tia Pol (205 10th Avenue; 212/675-8805) and try the substantial daily specials, such as the long-cooked suckling pig.
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From the From the May 2008 Food & Wine Go List
At El Pobre Luis, owner Luis Acuña serves juicy, delicious, wood-smoked steaks using cuts of meat favored in both Argentina (rib eye, lamb intestine) and his native Uruguay (rump steak, blood sausage).
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.