Eatz & Drinkz/ Recipes



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The urban dictionary defines coqueta, as flirtatious, or a girl who flirts. As a fan of Michael Chiarello, this doesn’t surprise me one bit. His charm in the kitchen and behind the camera eludes just that, Coqueta. However, in relation to his new Spanish style tapas, it’s easy to imagine how this would pertain to his many playful tapas. Having been to Michael Chiarello’s Bottega in Yontville several times, this is a step away from his familiar farm to table Italian roots. Although I had planned on visiting Coqueta soon after they opened, I actually ended up walking by during my lunch break. Why not? Since it was in the middle of the day, Michael wasn’t there, although one would get a sense of him through the food, open kitchen, and slightly off the norm outside bar area. When you walk through the bar area to go through to the restaurant, you almost feel as if you’re being transported from a coastal European bistro, to a secret underground dining club. Not in the literal sense, but once you transport yourself from the bar into the dining area with a small open kitchen, it’s as if anything can happen. From the coarse wooded columns to the eccentric wine decanters, it feels like a supper club, anyone would want to immerse themselves into. I indulged in 4 different tapas. From the cold tapas, I started out with the white gazpacho, and from the hot tapas I chose the crispy shrimp and chickpea flour pancake, the wood-grilled octopus, and grilled albondigas made of duck and pork meatballs with a tart cherry and tempranillo purée. Every dish was served to perfection. It was an art how each plate was presented in a new and unique way. The anticipation just continued to grow from dish to dish, but the white gazpacho intrigued me the most Visually, the white gazpacho with macron almonds, grapes, syrah reduction and syrah-grapeseed oil was almost too pretty to eat. It was beautifully served in glass, filled about half way with the gazpacho, crowned in an array of color. The gazpacho itself was white, like a blank canvas. The presentation was a visually stunning culinary experience. The surface was painted with a splash of colors from the red wine reduction accompanied by carefully placed drops of golden oil. And finally, the center of the gazpacho was strewn with almonds adorned with a delicate, edible yellow flower. The flavor profile was equally enticing. The cold, velvety consistency of the gazpacho itself was delicate and light. The flavor was unique, combining a soft balance between savory and sweet. Hiding at the bottom of the gazpacho were thinly sliced grapes that added a sweet bite that balanced out the marcona profile. To round off the perfect taste, the spoon does all the work as it gently lifts all the flavor profiles into one flawless bite. This is coqueta.

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