Pete Wells Gives 2 Stars to El Quinto Pino

Contributor
The tapas and wine bar recently opened a new dining room
El Quinto Pino
Wells found many of the shareable plates so appealing that they tested his “ability to play well with others."

This week, Pete Wells awarded two stars to El Quinto Pino, a West 24th Street tapas and wine bar with Spanish-inspired menu items. Owners and chefs Alex Raij and Eder Montero first opened El Quinto Pino seven years ago, and added a new dining room to their “sardine can” bar space last fall.

Wells praised the menu, which takes more chances than Raij and Montero’s two other New York restaurants, Txikito and La Vara.

“Having laid down their Iberian credentials in their other restaurants, they’ve given El Quinto Pino a passport to roam around,” he wrote.

Regarding the small, shareable plates, Wells found many of them so interesting and tasty that they tested his “ability to play well with others."

“I hated surrendering the last fried lump of sea anemone folded into soft scrambled eggs,” he wrote.

On the downside, Wells found that some of El Quinto Pino’s plates varied in quality from night to night.

“It’s unclear how the xocolata dessert is meant to be served,” he wrote. “One night the salt-sprinkled ingot of chocolate ganache was filled with fruity green olive oil that spilled out at the touch of a fork; I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed the pairing of the two ingredients more. On another, the oil was cold and congealed like Vaseline.”

Overall, however, Wells was impressed and concluded that the room probably makes for a great date spot.

“It’s a room for talking, and if it’s not exactly the boondocks,” he finished. “It’s easy enough to get lost there for an hour or two.”

You can read Wells' full review here.

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