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Monday, January 13, 2020

A Peachy's Pick Since 2012 and #Best #Spanish #Restaurant in #Manhattan, El Pote Espanol #ElPote #ElPoteEspanol Since 1977 by New Owner Nicolas Ahuatl and Executive Chef Jose Larino #JoseLarino Winter 2020 #WhomYouKnow #PeachysPicks @ManhattanPeachy #PeachyDeegan

New Owner Nicolas Ahuatl!
Time to Smile!  Nothing is being changed!
A new to us favorite appetizer to add to our list: Calamares en Su Tinta!
We love Paella Negra:
One of the saddest days at Whom You Know last year was when we learned Founder and Owner of El Pote, Enrique Torres, passed away.  It got sadder when we recently spoke to Executive Chef Jose Larino, co-founder and owner, and Jose told us he sold the business.  It is getting harder and harder to find quality small businesses in Manhattan because both of the rising rents and lack of support from City Hall in small businesses.
However, we have happy news today.  We did our first review of El Pote under new owner Nicolas Ahuatl and are glad to report that he is not changing a thing which is music to our ears.  El Pote has thrived since 1977 in midtown Manhattan, and it is still the best Spanish restaurant you can visit.  Jose Larino is still involved overseeing the culinary efforts, ensuring excellence, and this was an especially flawless transition as Nicolas Ahuatl has worked at El Pote since 1991.  This is an extremely rare occurrence and usually when an original owner sells the business, that is the end of excellence.
El Pote was last featured last summer:
 We began with the magnificent Gambas al Ajillo: Shrimp Marinated in Garlic.  They are tremendously delicious and rank among Peachy's favorite foods of any cuisine at all in Manhattan.  Beautiful, authentic and exquisite, these shrimp are on your must-eat list for sure.
Concurrently, the Champinon Rellenos: Stuffed Mushrooms, are another strong contender among appetizers as they are baked to perfection with their famous crabmeat to-die-for.
The smiling stuffed mushroom above, and inside below. 
Ta da!  Peachy always must have the garlic shrimp and the crabmeat stuffed mushrooms, but Nicolas suggested two other appetizers to broaden her horizons.  Meet: Calamares en Su Tinta!  This is squid in its own black ink: a delicacy to be devoured!  Just like the American Express black card is a status symbol, it is also a status symbol for your dinner plate to be eating such a superlative find from the sea.  The array of shapes is a wonder to behold and even better to eat. 
Nicolas also suggested we try the Esparragos Espanoles: Spanish White Asparagus served hot or cold, says the menu.  We know we've had this cold, and of course since now it's January we had it hot this visit.  It's comforting and a highlight of nutrition on our edible journey, and smartly arranged as well.  No one has better soups than El Pote in the winter and they are hand-crafted daily-you remember Jose Larino used to make them for the entire Spanish Navy.
We began with the brilliant Sopa de Pescado: Seafood Soup, also suggested by Nicolas. 
 Looking out on the horizon of soup you will be delighted to discover a triumphant combination of lobster, shrimp and scallops all waltzing in a most delicious warm broth that give your tastebuds a hug.
However, Peachy's personal favorite is the Garlic Soup: Sopa de Ajo.  If you are sick this is what you need.  Gallons of it!  If you are healthy, it is preventative to sickness and we believe excellent nutrition-wise.  It is a dish that dates back to Jose's Navy days and you cannot get it anywhere else, anywhere.  The flavor is sublime, the texture is wonderful and it only beat by their gazpacho in the summer.   Stay tuned.
 Everybody thinks they can do steak so well.  Everybody can't, not even all the steakhouses.  For our carnivorous endeavor, we chose the brilliant Entrecote: Broiled Sirloin Steak.  A bastion of classic juiciness that was delivered perfectly medium rare as requested, this steak continues to be a top choice and arrives with a lovely cream of spinach which visually and nutritionally compliments it.
 We love Paella.  We love Paella when it is the classic version, we love it when it is seafood only or Green (Salsa Verde) and in achieving her fabulous smile noir (obviously we brush our teeth after and enthusiastically visit Garo at Cosmopolitan Dental only blocks away from El Pote!), this visit we opted for Paella Negra which is just bursting with gorgeous layers of seafood on top of rice.  Of course, it is black because of the squid ink!
Also, we like how it is served exactly out of the skillet.
 Paella Negra glamour shots:
 As avid readers know, we never edit pictures.  We take them, and we publish them.  This is truthfully how excellent it looks.  You either excel like Nicolas and Jose, or not.
Scallops, mussels, calamari, shrimp and clams come to this celebration on a plate and you're going to fall in love with every bite!  Its flavor is divine and absolutely unequaled anywhere else.
 Their wine list is also tremendous, and we were impressed with both this red and the Ribeira by Vina Costeira. 
 Finally we tried the Copa Catalana for dessert, a fantastic custard. 
 El Pote continues to Earn Our Highest Recommendation.


Say a prayer for Enrique he is reading upstairs now.

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