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May 17, 2011 2 min read

An Update on Txoko, Opening Tuesday May 31st

An Update on Txoko, Opening Tuesday May 31st
Table of Contents

Time to practice your Basque Xs, because Ryan Maxey and Ian Begg (Naked Lunch) are opening their San Sebastián-inspired restaurant, ~TXOKO~. To begin, here’s how you say it: like tchotchke, just add a little “T” to the word choke, tchoke-oh. Okay, now that you’ve got that down and are ready to start drinking some Txakoli, here’s what is on Begg’s sample menu: there will be a variety of small bites (pintxos) for $3-$7, like oysters, fava bean cuscurro (crostino), and a Roncal cheese croqueta; slightly larger small plates include crispy Chesapeake Bay soft shell crab ($12) with piquillo pepper purée, bacon, spring onions, herbs, crispy sweetbreads ($10), and grilled octopus ($8) with potato pearls, sea beans, ramps, and truffle foam. Bigger plates include oven-roasted suckling pig ($32) with spaetzle, Madeira, yam purée, and mustard greens, and rex sole a la plancha ($25), with summer squash and potatoes. There will also be a cheese selection, and dessert includes gâteau basque ($6) and foie gras ice cream ($8) from these foie-loving dudes.

They’re going to be open late (kitchen until 1:30am, bar until 2am), providing a place for their industry pals to dine and drink late. GM/owner Ryan Maxey (who was the sommelier at Café Majestic when he worked alongside Ian Begg) has dedicated 80% of the wine list to Iberian wines. The cocktail menu by bar manager Jason Brown (Kokkari, Michael Mina) includes a Picon Punch (Brinba Picon, grenadine, Torres brandy, soda water) and the Fatty Arbuckle, with bacon-infused Elijah Craig bourbon, verbena simple syrup, and tobacco tincture. (At first I was a little perturbed by a drink being named in honor of Fatty Arbuckle, but reading the lengthy history of his scandal was super fascinating, and made me change my mind.)

More on the history tip: the Enrico’s space has been transformed from a live music venue into more of a “Basque-style tavern with a modern twist.” Urban Chalet is behind the redesign, and local artist Jeremy Fish did the mural (along with their logo). They added a communal table, and there’s a spacious bar area, plus both indoor and outdoor seating (45 and 35, respectively). I’ll have more details and some pics in a couple weeks.

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