Tinto Philadelphia is the second venture of Jose Garces, who is known for contemporary interpretations of Hispanic and Latin cuisines. This establishment focuses on Basque country along the French/Spanish border. There has been a flurry of newer Basque restaurants opening in NYC from Txikito and Salinas to Mercado. And we cannot forget the classics like Batali’s Casa Mono & Bar Jamon, Boqueria and Bar Basque.
We loved the interior of Tinto which had wine bottles stored on the walls throughout the restaurant. We started at the bar, where the bartender shared some awesome recommendations for going out later. We were able to check out one – a cocktail bar called the Ranstead Room, a little speakeasy joint nearby. We also tried to go to another basement speakeasy called The Franklin Mortgage & Investment Co., but they were closing when we got there. It was the Sunday before Christmas and not a hoppin’ night out in Philly!
The dining area shares the wine cellar theme of the bar. It also has really great checkered tables which add to the atmosphere and are a really fun ground for the food.
The menu is an adorable foldout with a map of the Basque region (above), a print of the table pattern, the cool corkscrew T, and the simple but delicious menu. We ate lightly, since we were going to see Everett Bradley’s Holidelic in Philadelphia this year. We’d be meeting up with Steve’s sister, her friends and Steve’s Uncle, Aunt and cousins there. Quick and out.
We had a couple of nice Spanish wines and a few bites. We started with a selection from the Charcuterie & Cheeses section. We went with a Cheese Mixto (3 cheeses for $15) and added Jamon Serrano ($9). We had them select the cheeses and it looks like for sure we had the Manchego and the Bleu de Basque. I am not sure about the first one, but it was a semi soft.
From the Pintxos menus (Snack in Basque), we chose a Salado (salty), Brocheta (skewer) and a Montadito (bite-sized open faced sandwich).
BOQUERONES marinated anchovies with pickled vegetables and pine nuts 7
CRAB MONTADITO jumbo lump crab, avocado, esplette chile 9
ALBONDIGAS spiced meatballs, piperade, poached egg 10
We really enjoyed ourselves here and would definitely go back to the bar and perhaps try their other spot next door called Village Whiskey.
114 S. 20th Street – Philadelphia – Rittenhouse Square