New York City is a melting pot of cultures, and nowhere is that more evident than in the food scene. From the vibrant street food vendors to the upscale restaurants, there is no shortage of diverse and delicious culinary experiences to be had. As a professional travel photographer and food critic, I have had the pleasure of experiencing some of the best dining the city has to offer.
On a freezing winter day last week, my husband Dino and I, as usual, were on a mission running around the city, and with 30 minutes to kill before our next photoshoot, we stumbled upon Tia Pol Bar & Tapas Restaurant. The restaurant's small size was charming, and the rustic wood and antique metal fixtures created a warm ambiance. The huge barn doors were particularly impressive, and even the bathroom had a rustic charm with dimmed lights and an antique sink, along with an aromatherapy candle burning, making it an inviting space.
We decided to try their happy hour specials and ordered a few tapas and drinks. I ordered Tía Pol G&T, and Dino ordered the Orange Crush Old Fashioned.
My Tía Pol G&T was a refreshing cocktail that blended Greenhook Ginsmith dry gin with lime and clove-infused simple syrup and tonic. The clove-infused simple syrup added a subtle warmth to the drink, balancing the coolness of the gin and tonic. The lime brought a refreshing citrus tang to the mix, making it a perfect drink for happy hour. Overall, it was a well-crafted cocktail that I would definitely order again.
Dino's Orange Crush Old Fashioned was a creative twist on the classic cocktail. It combined Pinhook Rye whiskey with fresh orange and simple syrup, and a dash of Angostura bitters. The orange added a bright, citrusy sweetness to the rye, while the bitters provided a subtle bitterness that balanced out the sweetness. It was a perfect example of how a good mixologist can elevate a classic cocktail by incorporating creative flavors.
Both cocktails were expertly crafted, and the flavors were well-balanced, making them a perfect complement to our tapas. Overall, we were impressed with the creativity and execution of the cocktails at Tia Pol. The bartenders clearly have a deep knowledge and passion for mixology, and we would highly recommend giving their cocktail menu a try.
Our first dish was Gildas, which were skewered anchovies with pickled guindilla peppers and olives. The dish was simple yet packed with flavor, with the briny anchovies, tangy peppers, and salty olives creating a perfect harmony on a tiny pick. Next, we had Aceitunas Tía Pol, which was a house blend of Spanish olives. The olives were meaty and firm, with a pleasant saltiness that made them the perfect accompaniment to our cocktails.
The highlight of our meal was the Croqueta Del Día. The croquette was perfectly fried, with a crispy exterior and a creamy, savory interior. The flavors were rich and complex, and the warm and hearty vibe provided a perfect complement to the flavors of our drinks and other tapas.
Overall, Tia Pol Bar & Tapas Restaurant was a fantastic culinary experience. The flavors were authentic, and the ambiance was inviting. As a food critic and travel photographer, I would highly recommend this restaurant to anyone looking for an excellent dining experience in New York City.
If you're a foodie looking to explore the culinary scene in New York, the Hudson Valley, and Catskills, then check out my restaurant reviews. From hipster eateries serving up Instagram-worthy dishes to farm-to-table dining experiences, there's no shortage of options for culinary exploration. I've also got you covered if you're looking for mixology and craft cocktails, with reviews of the best happy hour specials in town. And for those interested in sustainable eating, I'm always on the hunt for some of the best vegan and vegetarian options around. New York City and the Hudson Valley are a melting pot of cultures that has led to some fantastic fusion cuisine, and I'm excited to share my experiences with you. So come along on this foodie journey with me and discover some of the best restaurants in the city and beyond.