Last weekend we caught up with Seamus Mullen, formerly of Boqueria, at Meatopia and asked him about his newest venture, Tertulia, slated to open on August 15. The 85-seat West Village space takes inspiration from the cider houses in Asturias in northern Spain, and will feature a rustic vibe with waiters wearing canvas-and-leather aprons created by designer Craig Robinson. Mullen took a short break from cooking to talk to us about why he chose the cider-house theme and what he’ll be cooking at his new restaurant.
What’s the concept behind the new restaurant?
I’ve been going to Spain for many years and I always love visiting the cider houses in northern Spain. In Oviedo there is a street called Calle Gascona with cider houses all along it. My friend owns probably the most well-known one in Asturias called Tierra Astur, and it has such a great vibe and such good food. I wanted to take that idea and translate it into something that made sense in New York.
It’s going to serve really simple Spanish food and cider and wine on tap. We’re going to have a wood-fired grill so we can serve a lot of grilled seafood and meats. There’s going to be some small plates and some large, shareable family-style plates like whole fish on the bone, big steaks, things that groups of four to six people can share.
Are there any dishes on the menu that have you really excited?
I got these sauté pans from Spain that are normally used for cooking chestnuts. They’ve got holes in the bottom and we are going to put them in the wood-fired grill with a lid on them and smoke clams.
Do you think New Yorkers will take to cider?
I don’t expect that cider is going to take New York by storm, but the energy and spirit of the cider house is really unique and I think people are going to love it. There is a great vibe when you walk into a cider house. It doesn’t matter if you’re in a T-shirt and jeans or a suit, everyone is welcome.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 28, 2011