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Friday, January 26, 2018

A Peachy's Pick Since 2012 and Best Spanish Restaurant in Manhattan, El Pote Espanol Since 1977 by Enrique Torres and Jose Larino Winter 2018 Our Coverage Sponsored by Fresh Origins

Our friend, 
Executive Chef and Owner, Jose Larino
Gambas al Ajillo!!!

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Brrrrr!  It's January but there is no reason to be cold when you can have the best soup in Manhattan!  We've already established that El Pote, which has been thriving for four decades, is the best Spanish restaurant in Manhattan.  One of our favorite aspects of this venue is their soup, which cannot be beat anywhere.  If you have not had Sopa de Ajo in the wintertime, you have not lived.  This is garlic soup, above, and we would eat it every day if we could.  It is the perfect combination of chicken and beef bouillon, olive oil, garlic, eggs and bread and it will warm you up and ignite your senses beautifully.  If you think you don't like garlic, think again because this unique concoction is going to win you over.
Not to be outdone is the Seafood Soup.  Note that soups as a group at all places do not photograph as well as they taste, and this sensation from the sea boasts extraordinary chunks of lobster and shrimp, paprika, fish bouillon, and salmon steak.  No need to shiver anymore!
These soups are the most underrated soups in all of Manhattan and this is what you should be eating now.
El Pote was most recently featured this past spring:
If you have been a reader for years, you know of Peachy's affinity for shrimp, especially shrimp marinated in garlic, a classic Spanish appetizer, or tapas.  These succulent little beauties arrive sizzling hot and are fragrant.  Inhaling the wonderful aroma is one of life's pleasures, and when your fork dives in, it gets even better.
Open since 1977, El Pote is owned equally by partners Enrique Torres and Jose Larino, and every single time we have visited before this time, we have worked with Enrique directly, as he is front of the house and Jose is the Executive Chef.  This time, we worked with Jose directly and it was a total pleasure (although we missed you Enrique!).  It was a wonderful opportunity to learn about Jose's illustrious culinary history that dates back to when he was just 19, in the Spanish Navy.  Both Enrique and Jose are the real deal; they both hail from Galicia, Spain.  We applaud this authenticity.
Jose took a six month course on a military base in Spain to be trained as a chef.  He began his culinary career at age 19 in the Spanish Navy, and he was the chef on the ship for the Merchant Marines.  Every day, he cooked for 150 people three times a day, and Jose did this for two years.  In 1970, Jose Larino arrived in New York and was the Chef at Place Espagne, which was on 58th between sixth and seventh avenues we understand.  Then, he and Enrique started El Pote in 1977.
Continuing along Peachy's garlic obsession, especially in the winter to assist immune systems, for a main we opted for the lovely Pollo al ajillo: Chicken in Garlic, spanish style.  Garlic and olive oil accentuate the chicken beautifully as well as the chunky red pepper accents.  This hearty dish is sure to delight!  The authentic, superlative flavor is a one-of-a-kind experience.
Our favorite entree this visit was the fish dish: Fideua.  Spanish pasta with seafood is a deviation from our usual paella, and just as fabulous.  We have never found elbow macaroni so enticing!  Shrimp, mussels, clams and calamari waltz in the flavorful pasta that is entirely going to make your day.  It truly is this gorgeous, and tastes even better.
We love El Pote and if you love authentic Spanish food, you will too.
El Pote continues to be Highly Recommended!

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