New Spanish Restaurant Donosti Promises Authentic Pintxos, Tapas, and SangriaJanuary 8, 2019
At the ground floor of the NAC Building at 32nd Street (where Hungry Hound and Premio are lined), Fort Bonifacio is Donosti Pintxos y Tapas. This Spanish bar is so new, a chalkboard suffices as outdoor signage for the meantime. It adds to the charm of the place, given the more hoity-toity style of its neighboring restaurants’.
Donosti owes its name to Donostia (also known as San Sebastián), a coastal city located in the Basque region of Spain. The city is known for its pintxos, which are similar to tapas, but served with bread or toast. The bar opened just last Tuesday, October 1st, but for a restaurant still in its super soft opening stages, it has already seen its share of packed crowds. Spanish expatriates who work nearby often fill the place to capacity during lunch and dinner hours. That’s a good sign.
Madrid-born Chefs Pablo Lopez Iglesias and Borja Duran Cid are in charge of the Donosti kitchen, serving food that manifest truly authentic Spanish cuisine by using traditional recipes passed-down from their respective families. They have a concise tapas selection that includes homemade Butifarra (boiled and grilled white sausage) and Jamon Ibérico. Their pintxos menu is ever-changing (they had Crosquetas de Jamón the day we visited) in order to better mimic the traditional pintxos and tapas culture in Spain.
Aside from the food, Donosti also takes pride in their Sangria. Apples and oranges are bathed in the wine mix for at least a day before they’re served to thirsty customers. Their signature cocktail, called the Don Ostia, is deceptively potent. It is said to be so strong that you’re gone after just three glasses, guaranteed. Donosti’s Special Draft Beer is another item of note, given the unique process they employ when serving each glass. The complicated process yields quite a unique beer experience that you should definitely try out for yourself.
Donosti is an exciting addition to the array of restaurants (some also serving Spanish cuisine) already at the Fort. With the interior accents and branding taken care of by the Enkapture group, Donosti is able to successfully replicate the atmosphere of a genuine Spanish pub. Its relaxed vibe and comfortable ambiance is perfect for dinner and drinks with friends, plus a bit of gossip on the side. Apart from a few rough spots that still need a bit of fixing (they’ve only been open for a week), Donosti is proof that if you get your food right, you’re all set to open for business.