Salinas is a Spanish restaurant where Chef Bollo who grew up in Spain is serving a contemporary Spanish menu. Opened in 2011, this place is pretty nice and the dining room where we were seated seemed to cater to couples with its small tables arranged in an intimate setting. So I was excited but my excitement was short lived, the inefficiency and rudeness of the service ruining a bit the whole experience. Food wise, it was interesting and just ok. Know also that if you are vegetarian, the choices are going to be very limited. Here is what we had:
As a cocktail, I chose their Quemar La Casa, made with J.Reiger whisky, Talisker 10 yr Single Malt, garam masala Demerara and Angostura bitters. It is like an old fashioned, but the garam masala Demerara made it a bit interesting.
We then ordered plenty of small dishes. Jodi started with their coliflor al yogurt or flash fried multicolor cauliflower, citrus yogurt and Pimenton à la Vera. Beautiful and delicious dish.
Then she got the cheese plate and I admit that I do not remember what all the cheeses were. Good, but I would have preferred bread rather than these crisps they serve that with.
On my side, I started with the Pringa al Pedro Ximenez. Pringa is a dish from Andalousia composed of various meats such as roast beef, pork, cured sausages such as chorizo and morcilla, with beef or pork fat slow cooked. Pieces of crusty bread accompany the dish to pull away a bit of meat, sausage and fat. I admit that I had no idea what it would be and was expecting a trio of sausages and meat, as the description mentioned chorizo, blood sausage and pork belly. But in fact, it was like little pockets that were quite comforting, where the chorizo took the stage. Now that I know what the original dish is, I am quite impressed by the creativity of the Chef!
My next dish was the fideos negros or squid ink vermicelli with sepia and smoked aioli. I was surprised how big was the dish as it was in the small plates section of the menu. I love squid ink pasta, but unfortunately did not like the dish that was a bit overpowered by the aioli. When the waitress asked me if I liked it as she saw I did not eat much of it, I nicely responded that no and that it was not a problem, but she seemed to be offended about it and brought it back to the kitchen. She came back few minutes later to let us know that they would not charge us for it, a gesture that surprised me and was well appreciated: this is rare for restaurants to do this and it shows a certain level of care for their customers.
We skipped dessert as it took forever for the waitress to take our order and, anyway, there was nothing that we absolutely wanted to try. It is just that I love to finish my meal with something sweet. Too bad…So, no, this was promising but quite disappointing.
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Salinas - 136 9th Avenue, NY 10011