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Alexandra Raij's Tapas Spot Txikito

Trouble sharing? Basque in glory on Ninth Avenue.

The pil pil is on the beroak section of the menu. Here, you'll find bakailoa: a house-cured salt cod sliced very thin, topped with dice-sized nuggets of breaded, fried headcheese that crunches and then gushes pork fat and gelatin under your teeth. The richness of the headcheese plays nicely with the salty, lean cod.

Txikito: Tough to pronounce,easy to swallow
Kristen Laughter
Txikito: Tough to pronounce,easy to swallow

One night, we splurged on the nightly special of cochinillo—roast suckling pig—for a whopping $30. That might be marginally acceptable at some high-end restaurants, but at Txikito, where you should order several tapas as well, the pig increases the bill considerably. When it arrived, though, all thoughts of money vanished. (This is my problem.) The pork shank was covered in burnished, crackly skin. Under the skin was a thin layer of white, melting fat and then perfectly fork-tender, faintly gamey meat, a porky marvel that sat in a pool of tart, herbal green sauce (tximitxurri, related to chimichurri). We jousted with forks over the crispiest bits of skin. This is the sort of thing that you don't want to share, but good sense dictates that you definitely should.

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