Photo: Evan Sung


The mid-winter escape to northern Spain in the West Village

By Hannah Howard

The depths of NYC winter may have seemed unseasonably balmy lately, but that doesn’t mean you’re not hankering for a cozy spot to transport you away from it all—which is exactly what chef Seamus Mullen’s atmospheric West Village Spanish restaurant promises. The exposed-brick space is warm with wood paneling, archways, and Spanish tiles, but best of all is the savory, wonderful smell of goodies cooking on a roaring wood fire grill. If you nestle in at one of the tables in the back, you can watch the chefs work their magic on the coals.

The New York Times calls Tertulia “a casual Spanish gastropub that sees its roots in the cider bars of northern Spain,” and the menu here is no doubt inspired by the cooking of the region, where Mullen spent time in the best kitchens and fell in love with sidrerias, local cider houses. Accordingly, cider at Tertulia is a must—choose from varieties from Spain and upstate New York—although there’s also a carefully curated list of beer and wine.

The simplest of dishes are gorgeously rendered, like the pan con tomate, with just three great ingredients: crusty bread, tomatoes, and peppery olive oil. But so are the more creative, finessed takes on northern Spanish food. The tosta matrimonio, black and white anchovies on a crispy quinoa cracker, is made even richer with silky sheep’s milk cheese, which plays beautifully with the briny little fishes.
As you might expect, you can’t go wrong with anything from that grill—a lovely salad of grilled gem lettuce tossed with salty anchovy vinaigrette, Calasparra rice made crispy on the plancha and topped with Ibérico ham, or a 40-day dry-aged prime rib, grilled to juicy perfection over the coals and served by the ounce to order. For dessert, a coconut milk take on crema Catalana is luxuriously silky.

Pro tip: bring friends who are game for sharing. There are so many crave-able dishes to choose from, you’ll want to maximize the possibilities.


Dinner: Sun–Thu 5:30 PM–11 PM; Fri–Sat 5:30 PM–midnight
Lunch: Mon–Fri 11:30 AM–3 PM
Brunch: Sat–Sun 11:30 AM–3:30 PM

price range

$8 (pan con tomate) to $23 (arroz a la plancha)