March 27, 2012
Dining at Tertulia in New York City
Last Saturday, a group of us shared a very special meal in the West Village of New York City at Tertulia, a fun and casual Spanish gastropub owned by Chef Seamus Mullen. Chef Mullen traveled around Spain for several years and developed a particular fondness for the region of Asturias in Northern Spain and the sidrerias, or the local cider houses found there. Mullen was impressed with the unique flavors of the cider and with the terrific home-style foods made in the kitchens. When creating Tertulia, he drew from his experiences in Spain, both for ambiance and for flavors and has come up with a real winner!
1 Here I am with Chef Seamus Mullen, the owner of Tertulia.
2 We started our meal with some delicious tapas - This is Cojonudo - fried quail eggs, on a smoked pig cheek with a pickled pepper.
3 And of course, the amazingly flavorful Ibérico ham - Jamón Ibérico de Bellota - Cinco Jotas acorn-fed Ibérico ham, cut by hand
4 Pan Con Tomate - Toasted bread rubbed with tomato
5 Ensalada de Remolachas - Beet salad, Cañarejal cheese, grapefruit, mustard greens, and pistachios
6 Ensalada de Rábanos - Radish salad, baby rainbow carrots, with anchovy vinaigrette
7 Pimentos de Padrón - Fried Padrón peppers with lots of sea salt
8 Navajas a la Brasa - A dish of razor clams with crispy bacon served over dandelion greens with an apple vinaigrette
9 Tupinambures - Crispy smoked sunchokes, sumac, and citrus yogurt
10 We loved all the starters! Such amazing flavors!
11 Tertulia is a word referring to a gathering of friends marked by great conversation, food, and drink.
12 The menu at Tertulia celebrates Spain’s exquisite products and flavors. And, of course, Seamus Mullen uses the freshest ingredients possible.
13 Mullen, an accomplished New York chef, lived in Spain for several years, learning the art of Spanish cuisine and its rich blending of flavors.
14 The daily specials are written in Spanish on blackboards hung above the kitchen.
15 The special beverage board, including a choice of hard cider
16 More specials
17 The narrow restaurant space is lined with brick walls, reminiscent of an old Spanish wine cellar. There are curved wooden banquettes, like this one and casual wooden tables.
18 There is plenty of room around these tables for large parties to enjoy Chef Mullen's fantastic creations.
19 Always at the ready - A large ham of Ibérico pig fastened in a special ham vise sits waiting to be hand carved.
20 Tosta Mejillones - One of Chef Mullen's fabulous tosta creations with grilled mussels, fennel jam, raisins, and aioli
21 Succulent pork belly sizzling near the blazing chimney-style oven
22 This flatfish on the grill is turbot. The pig's cheek next to it is being smoked and will eventually be stuffed inside the turbot.
23 The turbot is finished off in the fireplace with that smoked pig's cheek inside and a coat of lemon slices and herbs on the outside.
24 After the slow grilling, the finished turbot comes out of the fireplace tasting amazingly delicious and smoky, pleasingly flavored by oak and lemon. Food is served on these wonderful hand-carved wooden platters that Mullen found during his travels in Northern Spain.
25 We ordered the evening's paella special, Del Huerto. It was made with a whole cut-up chicken cooked in different ways - fried wings and grilled white and dark meat.
26 The paella was enhanced with the wonderful flavors of fresh ramps and fiddlehead ferns.
27 We were all very happy!