Chow Bella

Prado's Peter DeRuvo Rolls Out Tapas Menu Today

The best seat in this house is at the copper, wood and granite tapas bar facing Prado's wood-fired oven. The view is of chef de cuisine Peter DeRuvo and his "pickle master," Jay, working the oven, firing up the food, and finishing the plates. The chef says he is "having fun," and the clean, layered flavors evident in each tapas dish prove his on-going commitment to fresh, seasonal ingredients.

The tapas menu makes its debut today, Friday, February 25th and will be available in Prado's dining room, Mbar, and the communal seating area surrounding the the oven. The menu is divided into Pinchos (snacks), Tapas De Pescado (seafood), and Caza Menor (offal, small game, salumi, testa di coppa). Prices range from $4-$27 and plates are meant for sharing.

Dishes like Huevos Diablos (deviled egg) and fried calamari, are there for diners seeking the familiar, but expect flavors that wow from a chef known for careful ingredient sourcing and thoughtful execution. The more adventurous diner won't be disappointed, Chef DeRuvo layers the menu like he layers flavors in his preparations, and the menu is loaded with "tempting nibbles" of his favorite snacks.

follow the jump to check out Chef DeRuvo's favorites

Served on MJ Bread, the Beef Tongue sandwich is lightly garnished with pickled vegetables and Sriracha. Sample a selection of salumi including "Leoncini" Mortadella, Redondo Inglesias Serrano Ham, "Iowa" La Quercia Prosciutto, "Creminelli" Wild Boar Salumi, "Zoe" Salumi Genovese, "Zoe" Salumi Decocoa, and "Zoe" Sopressata. Fall off the bone tender Baby Back ribs hint of sweet and spice with rosemary and balsamic seasoning. Thin slices of Beef Heart sitingt prettily on pickled radishes, are topped with arugula and drizzled with 20 year balsamic vinegar. 

Pickled vegetables, all house made, accent most offal offerings. Hon Tsai Tai from Pat Duncan's farm garnish the Head Cheese and the Sweet Breads. Pickled garnishes and floral bud accents illustrate DeRuvo's "if you can't eat it, why put it on the plate" presentations.

Blue Points with Mignonette , grilled prawns with garlic and Arbequina oil, octopus and squid with local citrus and fennel, and Crispy oysters with horseradish and caper aioli make up the Tapas De Pescado on the menu. Our taste of Long Island razor clams hint at seasonal specials to complement the menu.

Roasted suckling pig sits behind the tapas bar. DeRuvo explains the pig was deboned and stuffed with 3 types of house made sausage with local fennel running through the center. "Never throw away fennel fronds or stems" he advises, "find a way to use every edible part of the food". The texture and flavors of the roasted pork contrasts and balances the sweet and spicy sausage filling.

DeRuvo's cooking philosophy is "to use high quality ingredients, prepared simply to bring out the essence of their natural flavor". His debut tapas menu at Prado brings together the chef's philosophy in a gracious hospitable atmosphere.

In addition to regular dining, a limited menu of $6 tapas and $6 wine will be offered Mon-Fri, 5-7 pm for Happy Hour and at 9-11 pm for reverse Happy Hour.

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Carol Blonder