Pimenton Delights With The Warmth Of Spain
Escape from cold New York streets and step into the warmth of sunny Spain at Pimenton Restaurant, Tapas and Wine Bar. Conveniently located in Long Island City, down the street from the towering Citicorp building, Pimenton is accessible to everyone in New York City and is well worth a visit. Pimenton, overseen by Manuel Vicente, the young, amiable proprietor, who hails from Galicia in the northwestern section of the Iberian peninsula, offers authentic Spanish cuisine. Sunny yellow walls and terra cotta floors replicate the interior of many restaurants typical of Spain. Glowing copper sconces and a toasty fireplace help create a warm, intimate atmosphere in which to sample the delicious food.
Vicente will mix up a pitcher of sangria while you peruse the menu, which features tapas, soups and generously sized entrees. Tapas, served throughout Spain, are small portions of different delectable dishes that you can sample during one evening, and Pimenton has the best array of tapas in New York. Frank, our waiter, suggested a great tempranillo—red wine that was somewhere between fruity and dry and went very well with our selection of tapas appetizers. After a sampling of house-cured olives, we savored shrimp in garlic sauce, soaking up all the delicious juices with fresh bread. Next, we tried ham croquettes, delicate golden fried morsels filled with bits of Serrano ham and melted cheese ($7). These are also available stuffed with shrimp and scallops. Pulpo, or octopus, is seasoned with the smoked paprika called pimenton for which the restaurant is named. From the grill come tender, fresh asparagus with red wine romesco sauce, baby lamb chops and imported fresh sardines, tender and tasty and totally unlike the canned, salted variety. Mussels, prepared in a lightly spiced tomato sauce, are out of this world and perfect for sharing ($8). The list of tapas goes on and on and includes grilled chorizo sausage, a Spanish tortilla, which is Spain’s version of an omelet, and a sampling of Spanish cheeses, including manchego, one of my favorites. Best of all, these tapas can be ordered any time of day or night and make for an excellent lunch, pre-dinner aperitif, or late night snack, served with wine or your favorite cocktail.
While it is perfectly acceptable to dine on an array of tapas all evening, some may prefer to try one of Pimenton’s tempting entrees. Classic arroz con pollo, a chicken and rice dish scented with saffron and flavored with smoky chorizo, is perfect for two. Of course, two people can also share traditional paella, a rice dish cooked with chicken, shrimp, clams, scallops, mussels and lobster, if a diner wishes ($17.99). Entrecote a la parilla is juicy grilled prime rib-eye steak, served with Spanish fries and sautéed vegetables ($22.95). Grilled skirt steak is cooked to perfection and served with Pimenton fries, more like hand-cut potato chips with special seasoning are out of this world. Roasted breast of organic chicken is prepared with sweet red pepper, paprika and manchego cheese timbale for a unique, flavorful dish.
Fresh fish plays an integral role in Spanish cuisine. I just loved the salmon fillet, sau-téed with green olives, capers and shallots on a bed of crisp, julienne vegetables, including red and green bell peppers and snap peas ($14.95). A casserole of clams, shrimp, lobster, mus-
sels and scallops prepared in a light sauce of olive oil, parsley, garlic and onion is a seafood feast that you’ll never forget. A prix fixe dinner for $19.95 makes Pimen-
ton’s cuisine even more approachable. This specially priced dinner is served Monday through Friday from 5:30 to 7 p.m.
Pimenton is open six days a week for lunch, tapas or dinner, but closed on Sunday. The second floor dining room is ideal for private parties of up to 30 people and the outdoor garden beckons diners in warm weather. Stop in for tapas a la carte, or Pimenton’s quick lunch special for just $11.95. The low price includes a cup of soup or salad, entrées such as fillet of pork, salmon or shrimp in green sauce, glass of wine, sangria or soda. You’ll be back to work in no time. A la carte lunches feature bocadillos, Spanish style sandwiches filled with grilled chicken and roasted onions, marinated loin of pork, potato omelet and much more. For about $8, you can’t go wrong. Pimenton will even deliver to your office.
Don’t leave without dessert. There are plenty to choose among. Aside from traditional flan, a vanilla egg custard, there’s also crema Catalana, a type of Spanish crème brulee, topped with caramelized sugar. Torrijas are slices of bread dipped in a sweet egg batter then fried till golden. The dish resembles French toast, only better! Visit a few times to fully experience the wonderful variety of tapas, entrees and desserts at Pimenton. Don’t forget to pair your dessert with an after-dinner cordial such as Jerez brandy, and a cup of rich espresso.
Pimenton is currently taking reservations for their prix fixe New Year’s dinner ($59.95). The menu for Christmas Eve dinner will include additional fish and seafood items. A special live flamenco performance is set for Friday, January 14, with shows at 8 and 10 p.m. Make your reservations now for a unique evening of great food and the music and dance of Spain. Visit Pimenton soon and melt your winter blues away with the warmth of sunny Spain, right here in Long Island City.
…help create a
atmosphere in which
to sample the