Friday, September 9, 2011240 9th Avenue New York, NY 10001
Wow! This entry marks our one-year anniversary of Ninth at Nine. It feels like only yesterday that we were blasting Sinatra in our new apartment and discovering that Pastis, our first Ninth at Nine restaurant, by fate happened to be located at 9 Ninth Avenue. Amazing! We decided it was only fitting to try another 9th avenue establishment, Txikito (pronounced “Chic-Kee-Toe”).
Txikito specializes in pintxhos (Basque tapas) and is the creation of Alexandra Raij & Eder Montero, the husband and wife team who began making their presence known in Chelsea as Tía Pol’s chef (Alex) and sous-chef (Eder). In fact, Txkito made it on our go-to list after sharing some wonderful tapas at Txikito’s sister restaurant located around the corner, El Quinto Pino, which is one of the true tapas bars we have found in the city.
Happy-hour celebration honoring our friend’s promotion almost makes us lose the time: 8:56pm! We have to go! Hailing an off-duty cab we whoosh down 9th avenue in record time. Don’t you just love when all the lights are green?
We easily spot Txikito by the crowd of people hanging around outside. We realize that we may not be eating for quite a while, which does not bode well for our empty bellies (empty with the exception of one-too-many tiki cocktails). Just as we make our way to the hostess stand two spots open up at the bar. We make our move. Nice! Bottle of Spanish red: check! Olives: check! Okay, now what?
We peruse the menu and the specials written in chalk behind us. Without much hesitation we begin throwing out orders to the bartender: morcilla (crispy blood sausage filled bundles) and the Foie Micuit (homemade Foie gras terrine) are both must tries. As if back in San Sebastian, we feast on one small plate after another and melt into the warm ambience.
We sip the last of our wine, and talk about how we wish the San Sebastian beach were out the front window rather than a 9th-avenue-drunk man whose yelling has caused the bartender to lock down the restaurant and call the police. No matter! Our bellies are full, spirits jovial and are re-inspired by the need to get back to Spain. We receive and view the final bill with trepidation all too common with a great New York tapas experience. Exactly, how much did we order? Enough said.