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Gotham West Market: El Colmado & The Cannibal

twoshovelApparently, there are two new bacon boards in Hell’s Kitchen: one at BarBacon (which I only learned of today) and another at The Cannibal inside Gotham West Market. The latter might get lost in all of the charcuterie on offer, but it’s worth a look if you aren’t into delving into pig’s heads, chicken livers or raw lamb.

cannibal bacon board

Left to right, this is house made back bacon a.k.a. lardo, what I heard as “lamb bacon” but another thought was “ham bacon,” though admitted that was redundant, and jowl. The firm and crispy mystery bacon in the middle was the universal hit, despite being the slightest bit gamey. Lardo draped on the hearty wheat bread and drizzled with maple syrup (left condiment) is also a good move.. The bacon fat is only for the hardcore.

cannibal pretzel & cheese

We all know fried brussels sprouts flavored with mint now. These, tossed with generous crumbles of salty country ham are different, meatier take. I got overly excited at the sight of liquid white cheese, thinking of my processed favorites. This blend was oddly flavorless, though, almost like thick opaque water. There was a mild sharp cheddar after taste, but not enough to make an impact.

el colmado oysters & cava

El Colmado has a happy hour deal worth walking three avenues for in the urban arctic. $11 will get you six oysters (Malpeques on this occasion) with mignonette sauce and a glass of cava. To be honest, I just a seat at the nearest counter upon entering because I had some time to kill. The oysters were a nice surprise.

el colmado bocadillo de calamar

The mini bocadillo contained an octopus body (grilled, not crispy as advertised and as I’d envisioned–like the ones in Madrid) paired unexpectedly with a minty sauce.

el colmado patatas bravas

Patatas bravas were not only spicier than any version you’d find in Spain, the plate was also larger than anticipated, which is one of those things that’s hard to gauge with NYC tapas, regardless of using price as a guide ($10 vs. $7 for the bocadillo). Instead of pure potato with a spicy brava sauce on the side, these were coated in a chile powder then swathed in aioli.

Ivan Ramen will have to wait.

El Colmado and The Cannibal at Gotham West Market * 600 Eleventh Ave., New York, NY

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