Did you see how I did that, made it easy to pronounce Txori while also making a little pun? Ahh, that is why I love writing. This is my entry for the Seattle Restaurant Review 360 over at Herbivoracious.
We didn’t come to Txori with a plan. I had heard it was true tapas portions, and had warned B that a back up plan for dinner would be necessary. Looking at the menu online he insisted that we at least give it the opportunity to be a dinner. I arrived after B, I’m not sure by how much, but he was already seated. It turned out there was a family style dinner going on as well, which he decided we did not want to do, as that would be a different review. However, it sounded like a cool thing $35/person on the first monday of every month. We were at the restaurant for almost 45 minutes, though, and they just finally were recieving soup, the first food we saw go to them.
This slowness on the family style table was also present at our own meal. I sat down and soon grew frustrated as I was not greeted, nor offered a drink for some time. Finally with much effort, I was able to flag down a waitress and order my Kalimotxo. “And your beer will be coming soon, sir” she said to Brett. What? I couldn’t believe there had been a beer on order this whole time as well. I was shocked that it was so slow. My drink, the Kalimotxo is one that I have known and loved before–red wine and coke with a hint of orange. People tend to turn their nose up, but it is basically like a very simple sangria. The sweetness of the fruit is replaced by that of the coke, with the added fizziness. The waitress, who, aside from having been quite slow, was extremely sweet, replied “you know what you are doing!” when I ordered the Kalimotxo. Damn straight I do.
We moved on to ordering food. The service got much better here, each tapa was perfectly timed to come out one at a time, allowing us to savor them. The first one was ensalada de pato confit, or duck confit and a slice of orange over a bit of lettuce. It fit entirely into an asian spoon, to help you with the size. This I had expected and didn’t mind, but I think this got B understanding just how small these were. The salad was tasty, if unremarkable. Next up was the calamares en su tinta. Squid in its own ink is one of those foods that just work so well, as they should. It was served over a large slice of baguette with a smear of mayonaise. This was a touch larger, and for me more of an ideal tapa size. I found this delicious, possibly even better than the version I had at Txori’s sister restaurant, Harvest Vine. Finally we got the Rabo de Toro, a braised oxtail over potatos. It was tasty, though much larger than the other bites, possibly to me, even seeming larger than a tapa should be, more like a small plate size. The oxtail was perfectly cooked to a velvety texture and a deep beefy flavor. It was served over thinly sliced though still slightly undercooked potatos. The potatos lacked the element of soaking up the sauce that you would normally desire with a braised oxtail (see the gnocchi at Quinns, for example).
Following these three we decided to pack up shop and head to our local Sichuan restaurant to continue our meal. The meal, to me, fulfilled exactly what a tapas place is truly supposed to. We enjoyed a drink, we munched a little, we hung out. As long as Txori is not entered with an attitude expecting a perfect meal–like at Harvest Vine–I think it fills its niche well. I would certainly grab a drink and a nibble here again. For two drink and 3 nibbles, we got out for a total of about $25 including tax and tip, so very reasonable.