Back at Manhattan's El Quinto Pino
A light fixture gets in the way of El Quinto Pino's new menuI didn’t realize how much I missed El Quinto Pino—the superlative Chelsea tapas bar launched by wife-and-husband team Alex Raij and Eder Montero—until I went back the other night. Back too are Raij and Montero, who got the place after giving up ownership of their other tapas bar, Tía Pol (let's not go into any lawsuit details here). The couple, who also own the Basque spot Txikito across the street, did minor renovations to warm the place up, including adding a few more tables (yay). They also changed almost all the dishes and added a rotating “turistico” menu. “The turistico menu will stop in different regions of Spain; the first stop is Galicia,” says Raij. Those Galician dishes are pretty delicious, including calda gallejo made with cross-cut spare ribs with pig head and chorizo, plus cannellini beans and turnip greens (“three or four kinds of pork, always,” says Raij). EQP’s basic menu includes mostly new items too, like crispy lamb intestines with pungent chile-garlic vinegar. But don’t worry, EQP’s celebrated uni panini is still there, at the top of the menu. And the crowd that night included my new favorites, the team from Torrisi Italian Specialties.