The Gotham West Market - Part 2/5: Tapas at El Colmado

image of El Colmado at The Gotham West Market

Next stop at the Gotham West Market: El Colmado, a Spanish tapas bar. I was pretty excited to try it, because I love the opportunity to try plenty of dishes as tapas (small plates) allow you to do. 
image of El Colmado at The Gotham West Market

When dining at El Colmado (spanish for "The grocer", "to celebrate the artisanal olive oils, vinegars, and preserved seafoods for which the country is famous" as they say), you can either order and sit in the common area, or sit at the bar.
image of El Colmado at The Gotham West Market

We went for the latter and picked a spot in front of the kitchen, allowing us to watch them prepare dishes crafted by Chef Seamus Mullen and his team. Just looking at this and the minutiae put into the presentation, we knew we would be there for a treat. 
image of El Colmado at The Gotham West Market

So we had a look at the menu that proposes a large number of plates, some small, some even smaller as you order the number of pieces you want (it is the case for deviled eggs, ham croquettes or langoustines). If you are vegetarian, there are few options. 

We decided to start with the Huevo Al Diablo or deviled eggs. 
image of Deviled eggs at El Colmado at The Gotham West Market

They were not your regular deviled eggs: they contained some smoked bacalao and roasted peppers. They were really good, the taste of the mayonnaise not too pronounced, and with a nice smokiness coming through. 

The second dish was the croquetas de jamon or ham croquettes.

image of Ham croquettes at El Colmado at The Gotham West Market

Ordered by piece, it was very soft and creamy inside with a crispy shell that was not greasy at all. 
image of Ham croquettes at El Colmado at The Gotham West Market

After that, we got a classic: tortilla or Spanish omelet. 
image of Spanish omelet at El Colmado at The Gotham West Market

I really liked it. At first, I asked for mayonnaise, but there was really no need for it, the omelet being so moist and tasty.

Then, we had to try some cheese and chose to order the Queso Fresco ahumado (means smoked) served with delicious slices of bread toasted and brushed with olive oil.
image of cheese at El Colmado at The Gotham West Market

It also had guindilla and rosemary. This homemade cheese was basically ricotta, this is the kind of cheese that has a very subtle taste. It therefore needs either something herbaceous, nutty or sweet to enhance the taste, hence the perfect pairing with the toasted bread and olive oil, as well as the pieces of roasted pepper that were put on top of it. However, I did not notice any smokiness...But still, delicious.

Next was the pulpo a la plancha that is octopus served with marinated potatoes and a spicy olivada (olive spread made of olives, olive oil, spices and herbs).
image of octopus at El Colmado at The Gotham West Market

I like the dish that had not only a great presentation, but also a great taste. The octopus was quite tasty and very tender. I would have just liked some more char to it. Complementing them with the soft marinated potatoes was a good idea.

The last entree was the special of the day: mustarda verde that was, in a nutshell, a salad served with fried chickpeas, raisins and some cheese similar to parmesan.
image of mustarda verde at El Colmado at The Gotham West Market

Jodi loved it. On my side, I found it good, but was not wowed by it to the point that I would order it again like the rest.

Of course, we could not leave without trying a dessert. We decided to try their torrija or French toast.
image of torrija at El Colmado at The Gotham West Market

I am not sure what all the ingredients were, but it was one of the best French toast I ever had! I know: it is a bold statement, but you would try it, you would agree! The brioche bread was perfectly soaked in the custard that I believe was vanilla. They used a torch to create a fantastic sugar/caramel crust that added a nice crispiness to the dish and topped it with orange peel.

We finished our meal full and glad that we tried this place, with already plans to come back (I saw them prepare these amazing lamb meatballs...). So, definitely, El Colmado is a tapas place on top of my list.

Enjoy (I did)!

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Restaurant Information

* Restaurant Name
El Colmado
* Overall
* Neighborhood / Cuisine
Hell's Kitchen / Spanish
* Street Address
600 11th Ave., New York, NY 10036
* Phone
(212) 582-7948