Fried Lamb Intestines at El Quinto Pino
After a business restructuring, chef-owner Alex Raij is back at El Quinto Pino, and she's shaking things up with new additions to the tapas bar's menu, including these wonderfully crunchy fried lamb intestines.
The chitterlings are fried so finely that they've curled and buckled in the heat, golden brown and shatteringly crisp. The vinegary chile sauce on the side reminded us of a more tart version of Thai sweet chile sauce, and the intestines themselves taste like lamb potato chips. They're a perfect bar snack, although at $8 for a small pile, they're not a particularly good value.
The dish seems to be a take on zarajos, a typical tapa from Cuenca, a large province in central Spain with a picturesque capitol city that is built onto the top of cliffs. There, zarajos are made by wrapping lamb intestines around a grape vine shoot and then grilling or frying them in olive oil.
In the background of the picture, you can see the sardine pie, an item from the newly instituted menu turistico, a rotating list of regional dishes from particular provinces. This month, the focus is on Galicia, home of the sardine pie as well as four other featured dishes.
401 West 24th Street