Friday, August 20, 2010

Once you go black, you never go back

I’ve got one word for you. Actually one letter, even: Ñ. Pronounced en-ye, this Soho wine/tapas bar is small, dark and sexy. Not to mention mysterious—there is no website, no photos of it to be found, and its not listed on And it turns out the small-plates menu is equally as intriguing.

I went for the first time last night with two of my besties and laughed as they seated us in an exclusive alcove that would be great for date-night, but not a catch-up session with the girls. So we opted for a seat at the bar, where the single girl of our trio could scope out the guys.

We ordered 6 or 7 small dishes, from pan con tomate to cheese plates to octopus. Everything we ordered was delicious, but for me, the star of the evening was the Black Pearls—tender meatballs doused in a squid ink sauce, complimented with a few pieces of calamari on the plate.

Upon first inspection, it doesn’t look all that appetizing, in fact it looks downright scary. Like a culinary tar pit or something. But the black ink sauce gives the meatballs a certain “smoky” flavor that every meatball I’ve had up until now has lacked.

It was unique and different, but at the same time, made complete sense once you tasted it. Like this epiphany of why aren’t ALL meatballs served in ink sauce?! The pairing is a perfect combination, but be warned--I just don’t know if I’ll ever be satisfied with ordinary meatballs again.


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