Tia Pol is a small neighborhood wine and tapas spot that does a ridiculously good job of feeling like a restaurant in Europe.
I went there on a blazing hot day in May. May, can you believe it?!? It felt like the middle of August in NYC. Luckily though, I had the white sangria to keep me cool.
Sangria is a crowd pleaser but I kind of hate how a lot of places leave fruit to steep for way too long. By the time I get it, it’s basically poached fruit, fruit that’s given it’s last breath to the wine. Not crisp fruit that has lightly perfumed wine – the way it should be.
Tia Pol does it right. Not only do they have cold wine on tap (yes please!), they add perfectly diced fresh fruit at the end (from a separate container). The result is fruit you can feel good eating that subtly adds to the wine without giving its fruity all. Ya know what I mean?
I went there for a light lunch since it was so hot I felt like a sausage in everything. If you get there for happy hour, which I was lucky enough to make, they offer $5 sangria accompanied by a little bite (FIVE DOLLAAASSSS Y’ALL). Today it was a piece of the tortilla española, which was super tasty and not too egg-y.
The rest of my order came very quickly, fried chickpeas (cuz I’m addicted to beans), mixed olives (cuz I love salt), and stuffed piquillo peppers (cuz well, I felt I needed some color for the photos…and some vegetables).
The chickpeas are crack! Normally you eat them with your hands but I was eating them by the spoonful to get more in my mouth….being the super classy gal that I am.
I’m pretty sure my gusto for garbanzos inspired other orders, but maybe that’s just me.
The piquillo peppers were super fresh and stuffed with a mix of sautéed eggplant, zucchini, and soft cheese.
Honestly, the tapas are solid – so it’s no surprise this has been a Chelsea standby since 2004. Tenth avenue in Chelsea has been difficult for many restaurants even after the High Line was built. Overall, NYC has had some serious turnover for the past five years (it’s probably longer but I’ve noticed a drastic change in the past five years).
Landlords are muy greedy and skyrocket rent prices/leases so not even flourishing restaurants can hack it.
Luckily, Tia Pol has stood their ground and I’ve been stuffing my face ever since.
It’s a good adult play date, walk the Highline, peruse some of the Chelsea galleries and then end at Tia Pol for some refreshing sangria and a myriad of tapas where you won’t feel like you’ve had a boatload of grease.
Summer is here in Spring and I’m not hating it. At least not right now…