Craig LaBan had to find some restraint to jump from his chair and exclaim “wow” as he dined on Jose Garces’ latest creations at Tinto, the Basque wine bar just off of Rittenhouse Square.
What has emerged atop the rustic wooden tall tables at his new wine bar north of Rittenhouse Square is a parade of exquisite inspirations – skewered on bamboo sticks, sandwiched between tiny baguettes, roasting in tiny iron crocks, and rising upward from narrow shot-glass flutes. They do not reflect textbook Basque cooking, per se, but are a taste of Garces in his finest vintage. Like those at El Vez and Amada, this menu draws inspiration from authentic flavors, then translates them into contemporary American ideas. And the results are more intricate and refined and magnetic than at either of the 34-year-old’s earlier venues.
Three Bells – Excellent