Looks like Chef Seamus Mullen has another hit on his hands with Tertulia. Five years ago Mullen brought his genius for preparing and plating authentic-feeling Spanish tapas to Manhattan with Boqueria, an acclaimed, always-packed restaurant in the Flatiron District. That eatery spawned a tapas restaurant offshoot in Soho and at least a dozen imitators. Seamus Mullen left Boqueria a while back, but in early August he returned to Grennwich Village with the new Spanish tapas spot, Tertulia. It is, quite simply, a stunner, one of the prettiest, most convivial restaurants we've been to this year.
Centrally located on Sixth Avenue in the heart of Greenwich Village, Tertulia is designed, Mullen says, as an homage to the cider houses of Spain's Asturias region. Whatever. Tertulia is beautiful: all brick and wood and tiles, warmth and laughter and comfort. As for the food, the Tertulia menu will surprise no one who's been to Boqueria, filled as it is with Spanish tapas classics as well as market-driven specials. We stopped by early yesterday evening before the crowds (even with its 75 seats, Tertulia is destined to be a tough table well into the winter), sampled the tapas menu, and left feeling full, happy and satisfied.
Seamus Mullen's Tertulia menu is divided into snackish dishes (Embutidos, Quesos y Tostas); small plates (Tapas y Sartenes, which are the size of hefty appetizers and make up the bulk of the menu); and a few multi-person entrees (Platos Familiares). We started things off by wolfing a pair of Tosta Setas, the thick crunchy bread smeared with smoked ricotta and piled high with garlicky marinated mushrooms and pine nuts.
Most of the Tertulia tapas sounded appealing, but we settled on a fish-meat one-two punch, beginning with Caballa y Fabes, which was two slabs of pale Spanish mackarel placed on top of a soups-worth of fabes beans, and plenty of both roasted and pickled peppers to add a hit of sweet or tang, depending. For meat we ordered the Lamb's Breast special, which was wonderfully fatty, crispy, gamey and salty, and went nicely with its accompanying garlic-laden yogurt dip, pickled vegetables and cheesy grains. Everything was good, if un-revelatory, with the warmth of the room elevating the experience to a definite-return.
Some of the Best Tapas in NYC: Tertulia in Greenwich Village:
Tertulia NYC is located on Sixth Avenue just south of Washington Place, and, according to the Tertulia website, is open every day from 6:00 p.m. until 12:00 midnight, though when we showed up yesterday at 5:45, they were already seating for dinner. For more information and a look at the complete Tertulia NYC Spanish tapas menu, please see their website, here.