Rebecca Marx's Top 10: No. 1 - 2010
At first glance, the bakalao al pil pil at Txikito is just an unassuming hunk of Basque salt cod, with about the same dimensions and pearlescent hue of a bar of soap. But the simplicity of its presentation makes it that much easier to focus on what's really important here, which is the way the fish's buttery flesh (poached in olive oil) yields effortlessly to the fork's slightest provocation and then slides down the throat, leaving the taste of olive oil and the sea in its wake. Salt cod has been subjected to countless preparations, but rarely has it been rendered so sensually: It's less sea creature than sex on a plate.