Restaurant review: Tinto, N1


Tinto - Credit: Archant

There’s no shortage of tapas restaurants in and around Upper Street, so with such high competition there really needs to be something special about a place.


Tinto - Credit: Archant

And the newly refurbished wine bar and restaurant Tinto certainly has it, with a sleek contemporary interior and traditional Spanish cuisine served with modern flair.

I dropped in with some friends early on a recent Friday evening and the venue quickly started filling up, the atmosphere buzzing.

There’s a strong focus on wine here – indeed, there are regular wine tasting events and the restaurant prides itself on hunting out five cases of the most interesting and affordable, lesser-known wines each week to bring something different to customers.

We kicked things off with a bottle of rioja from the main wine list – a light and fruity choice to go with the mixture of meats, fish and vegetarian dishes which were to follow.

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The pan tumuca con jambon – bread covered with finely sliced serrano ham and drizzled with oil – started the meal off nicely. It was followed by Tinto’s signature sliders – pork secreto burgers – a tasty choice, and a real example of the restaurant’s contemporary take on food.

The gambas al ajillo – prawns simmered in garlic – were a dream, with the crustaceans big and juicy, and the garlic not too overpowering.

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Pan fried seabream was served with tosazu, a Japanese vinegar-like sauce, and the fish was delicate and soft. The beef tataki was one of a number of other nods to Oriental cuisine on the menu, with the fillet lightly seared, marinated and finely sliced, ensuring the meat melted in the mouth and was bursting with flavour.

More traditional favourites of cod fritters and potato bravas also went down, as did the delicious side dishes of sautéed spinach with chick peas and the slightly unusual sounding crispy and runny egg with lentils.

With little room for dessert, we decided to opt for a cheese board – which included idiazabal, mahon and teruel, with the rosemary-infused manchego my favourite. All were perfectly complimented by a full bodied glass of organic red wine from Tinto’s special rotating weekly wine list, rounding off what was a top-notch meal with first class service.

If you’re also looking delicious tapas with a bit of an unusual twist and a buzzing restaurant, then Tinto should defintnely be on your radar.

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