Written by Hulda Lawrence
Newly installed at 338 West 46th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues is Sangria 46, a delightful outpost of Spain with an emphasis on tapas (212 581-8182). There is a large and fascinating menu of many Spanish cuisine stars along with a great list of specialty cocktails, mojitos and, of course, Sangria done with red or white wines. This is a small, cozy place opening onto a courtyard which will be fine in the warmer months.
We were fortunate to have Serafin from Mexico as our waiter and guide to the many drinks, tapas and entrees listed. We began with a Mango Mojito for me and a Caipirinha for my companion. Her drink was done with a special Cachaca Rum while mine had chunks of fresh mango along with Rum Botran. Other varieties include Key Lime and a Naked Mojito 23 with Rum Zacapa (23 year old along with the usual lime, mint and sugar). There are specialty martinis including a milk chocolate martini. The Sangrias are done with dry or sweet red or white wines. Drinks are $9 and $10. Sangria starts at $25 for a full pitcher or $7 a glass.
We ordered a plate of cold tapas and one of hot tapas. The cold included cured pork loin, sausage, Serrano ham and manchego cheese. We nibbled happily with our fine drinks and then enjoyed three Tapas Calientes (hot) shrimp in garlic sauce, the tiniest of Lamb Chops grilled and wonderful fried Baby Artichokes. Tapas plates start at $5.95.
For our entrée we shared a dish of Broiled Langostines in a brandy sauce with vegetables. After our several tapas we could not handle another large entrée. But the next time we visit we'll sample the paellas (one of which is vegetarian), Filet Mignon the Spanish way and Mariscada, a mix of seafood prepared in a choice of four sauces. There are pork chops, lamb chops and chicken done in many ways. A la carte entrees are $14.95 to $25.95 for filet mignon.
Of course we had to have dessert, a luscious moist chocolate cake came with vanilla ice cream.
Every lunchtime Tuesday through Saturday there is a $17.95 special lunch of a number of entrees, salad or soup, coffee and dessert. At lunch the Sangria is $5.50 a glass and wine is $4.50. Evenings there is a three-course dinner for $26.95 with such appetizers as stuffed mushrooms, Shrimp in garlic sauce, marinated Pork Cubes or mussels in tomato sauce. The second dinner course is a choice among Penne Primavera, Grilled Chicken, Vegetable Paella, Grilled Shrimp, Skirt Steak or Penne with Vodka Sauce.
Benny Castro who is co-owner and chef, along with his cousin Adolfo Perez, has had a great deal of experience in the restaurant word. In a time of rising costs it is a pleasure to report that this new restaurant presents good food in a charming atmosphere at reasonable prices.
Trestle on Tenth, 242 Tenth Avenue at 24th Street (212 645-5659) is the "child" of Ralf Kuettel, owner and executive chef. From a small village, Turbenthal, at the foothills of the Alps in Switzerland he decided to become a chef and embarked on a series of jobs - first in Europe, mainly France and Switzerland, and finally came to the United states for more restaurant experience. Then he wanted to learn more about wines so he took a job with Chelsea Wine Vault. Now he has his own restaurant with a huge list of wines and food that is nicely presented and good to eat. He uses fresh fruits, vegetables and the freshest ingredients available.
A "trestle" is the framework used to support a bridge, and this new restaurant's location is half a block from the High Line Bridge where the Highline Park used to be. The restaurant is operating in an 1830s building which has a long history as a home, ship chandlery, an Italian grocery and most recently as Chelsea Commons Bar. The tree-shaded garden where we lunched is walled and one seems to be miles away from the city's hustle and bustle.
We began with Chilled Tomato Soup with Crabmeat, corn and basil. The tomatoes were marinated for four hours before being made into a very thick and savory soup, $9. We also shared Butter Lettuce with crispy bacon and buttermilk dressing, $8.50.
Our efficient waiter, Glenn, suggested that we try different sandwiches and his advice was sound. An open-faced Pork Roast Sandwich with Horseradish Mayo, sauerkraut and Fontina Cheese was a winner. We also had a Seared Lamb Tenderloin and a Baguette with Red Onion Jam, celery root salad and walnuts. Sandwiches are $9 to $12. A burger with roasted potatoes and a choice of bacon Vermont Cheddar, blue or emmenthaler Swiss is $10 plus 75 cents for the "extra."
From the overwhelming wine list we selected a Sancerre for my companion and a Dolcetto Pinot Noir for me. Before lunch we enjoyed the specialty cocktail, Fog Horn, of Peach Lambic, Ketel One citron and lemon. The cocktails are $10. Wines by the glass are $7.50 to $13.50. Many beers are available by draft and bottle. There also is a group of non-alcoholic drinks including ginger beer and Bermuda. For our entrée we shared Chicken Paillard with Yukon Gold Potato Salad, capers and field greens. Our excellent sides were Greenmarket Beans with tomato and lovage, Roasted Heirloom Beets and gratineed Pizokel with onions and gruyere, $4.50-$5. Also available was Tagliatelle pasta with shrimp, cherry tomatoes, peas and basil; a Frittata of the day; and Pan Roasted Trout Filets with Baby Bok Choy, mussels and light mustard sauce. These dishes are $12.50 to $14.
Dinner in the evening has a larger menu with such additions as appetizers of Seared Sweetbreads with White Asparagus, Rhubarb and Pea Shoots; House Smoked Mackerel with Cucumber Salad; Tomato Tart with Escargots and cress; Steak Tartar with quail egg, $8.50 to $12.50.
Dinner entrees include Salmon with Turnips, fingerling potatoes, bacon and parsley sauce; Diver Scallops with house-made lamb sausage; Roasted Pork Loin and sautéed Veal Kidney. Dinner entrees are $18 to $25.50 for Seared Sirloin.
Desserts were delicious. We shared Chocolate Stout Cake with Sweet Creme Fraiche, warm Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp with Almond topping and vanilla ice cream and an excellent Nusstorte with walnut and caramel. Desserts are $8.50 while ice cream and sorbets are $4. There is a large selection of cheeses.
This is a most interesting new (a year old) restaurant, and drinks and food are well prepared and generous in size.
Hours: Open seven days Monday dinner only 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
The dollar sign indicates the approximate cost of dining for two persons, excluding beverages, tax and gratuity.