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Friday, July 13, 2012

Peachy Picks El Pote Our Coverage Sponsored by Fresh Origins

Enrique Torres, Owner of El Pote

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Walking down Second Avenue in Manhattan, one encounters a myriad of restaurants and it is not always easy to distinguish from the avenue which doors you should enter, but let us make you well-aware today that El Pote is one of the best-kept secrets that you should absolutely know about. Pop in the door and see what this pot holds-and of course El Pote means pot in Spanish. El Pote was first featured in Tasty Tidbits:

We are pleased to announce to day that El Pote has joined the ranks of Peachy's Picks: its superior Spanish cuisine, genuinely caring owners and collegial, warm atmosphere make it a winner in our book. And, they've been in business since 1977! There was not an empty table to be found all night. Hailing from La Coruna, Spain, Owner Enrique Torres teamed up with Chef Jose Larino (on vacation so not available for comment on our visit) to concoct one of the best Spanish restaurants in Manhattan. 

You know Peachy Deegan dreams of ravishing garlic shrimp such as those you see above, and they were a tremendous start to a terrific evening. We cannot emphasize enough how outstanding the quality of the seafood is at El Pote: these succulent little babies melted in Peachy's mouth. The bread that came to the party was of high-quality as well and ideal for soaking up the garlic goodness. If anything, there could have been more garlic, but you know we love it. If you are worried about too much garlic, this is not at all overwhelming.

Enrique suggested we try the stuffed mushrooms as well and this is a starter not to be ignored! Joined by a flawless combination of crabmeat and shrimp, these were highly flavorful but not at all heavy: just ideal for summer! Peachy sipped a 2009 Tamiz Jovin Ribera Del Duero from Spain and it is the best Spanish wine she's had in a long time. Often Spanish wines we do not find to be as full-bodied as we'd like but this one was bursting with flavor.

As an entree, Peachy opted for a traditional dish: Mariscada Salsa Verde: seafood combination in a green sauce. Joined by saffron rice:

The perfect combination of shrimp, mussels, clams, and lobster, this symphony of aromas from the sea immediately silenced all conversation coming from Peachy so she could spend some quality time with this dish. She absolutely would order this again there and would encourage you to try it!    It is not too heavy though it will make you quite full.  The sauce was decadent and again this garlic enthusiast was pleased.  By this point in your meal it will be absolutely evident why there is not an empty table at El Pote.

Do not ignore the dessert cart:

We love the tradition of a dessert cart! Every morsel of the chocolate bread pudding cake was divine, as was the adjoining cream. You probably are not going to be able to eat the whole thing but you will want to!

Our esteemed panelist adds:

The squid in its own ink was outstanding. 

This dish, which originated from the fisherman of the Basque country, was as ethereal as it was exotic. Seasoned with a little olive oil, garlic and wine, each morsel was perfectly tender. The Paella Marinera was also a showstopper and reflects the richness of the sea. Massive in size, this could certainly feed two people or provide leftovers for lunch the next day. 

A waiter first presented a large bowl overflowing with lobster, shrimp, mussels and scallops on a bed of yellow rice. He then deconstructed to serve about half of the food most artfully arranged on a dinner plate. The owner explained to us that all of the seafood is first cooked separately in a delicate consommé before being served last minute over the saffron and pimento-seasoned rice. While some paellas can be a bit dry, this was lovely and moist.

If you still have room for dessert, I do recommend the pignoli cake, which alternated multiple layers of sponge cake and vanilla custard filling and was topped with Spanish pine nuts and a toasted sugar topping. 

Also, under no circumstances should sangria lovers miss the opportunity to sample the version at El Pote. The red wine and brandy punch is chockablock with oranges, lemons, and apples and is not only refreshing on a hot summer day, but also the perfect complement to the authentic cuisine. You truly will feel like you have been transported to Spain! 

Peachy Picks El Pote!

El Pote is Highly Recommended by Whom You Know.

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