Far West Chelsea is known for its high-end art galleries, glamorous clubs of the Meatpacking district, and luxury clothing stores. There are high-priced, fancy restaurants and higher priced scene-y restaurants, but very little in the way of simple, honest food, save for The Red Cat and Cookshop. And, as it turns out, Tia Pol.
This tiny restaurant, long and narrow, serves traditional Spanish tapas for brunch, lunch, and dinner. The restaurant is dark in a sexy, hop way, and if you have very long limbs, you could probably stand arms akimbo and touch both sides of the restaurant.
Small two-tops line the walls and a long bar stretches the length of the room, making it an ideal spot for a date or an intimate dinner and less appropriate for a large gathering of people.
The wine list is long and primarily Spanish. Try a glass of cava to get in the festive mood, or perhaps a glass of sherry, which is perfect with salty Marcona almonds or some smooth Manchego cheese.
One of the best things about this tapas restaurant is how vegetarian-friendly it is. A starter that will please carnivores and vegans alike is the shisito peppers. These small green peppers are blistered in olive oil over a hot flame and then covered in salt. Some peppers are mild and fruity, and some are fiery—the Russian Roulette of the peppers is part of the fun!
The fava bean puree on toasted baguette is another winner. The puree has the consistency of hummus but with a very grassy, fresh taste that is reminiscent of peas.
Carnivores should not miss out on the lamb skewers with Moorish spices, a nod to Spain’s Arabic influence. Cumin-scented lamb, rosy and juicy, is served in bite-sized servings. Also, go for the patatas bravas, addictively crunchy potatoes fried and served with dollops of creamy, garlicky aioli.
The tapas here tend to be less than $10 per plate, and though that can add up, if diners are careful, this can be a reasonably priced dinner. Delicious and reasonably priced, in Chelsea? And they said it couldn’t be done.
205 10th Ave.
New York, NY 10011