November 30th, 1999 | Food Reviews & Stories
 

     
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Although there’s now a small dining room attached to the hip little Northeast bar Tiga, it doesn’t come with table service. Which can be funny when you order at the bar and ask something like, “What’s the greens frittata like?” and the bartender replies in earnest: “It’s a square.” A moment later he puts his fingers together in the shape of a rectangle to illustrate.

If this would make you mad, don’t go to Tiga for food. If you don’t mind cryptic descriptions that tell you nothing about what you’re ordering, Tiga’s menu is indeed quite tasty.

Just over a year ago Djamilah Troncelliti¸—who formerly tended bar at Nob Hill’s Brazen Bean—opened Tiga at Northeast 15th Avenue and Prescott Street with her sister and boyfriend.

“We all lived in the neighborhood and were looking for something close to, but not on, Alberta. We were hoping to get the Alberta folks to migrate out a bit,” Troncelliti says. “I have babies now, so I don’t go out so much...Alberta really doesn’t have a lot of bars anymore—it’s mainly restaurants and shops.”

So after a year of steady business popping corks and pulling beer, Tiga needed more space to stretch. In late November, Tiga doubled its size, got a liquor license and added a full kitchen.

Garbriel Antroll, formerly of Le Bistro Montage and Colosso, behind the seasonal menu, dishing out small bites like deviled eggs ($2) and savory tarts ($5) as well as a more substantial citrusy chorizo avocado salad ($8) and grilled tempeh with mustard-braised cabbage ($8). The flash-fried cauliflower ($5), golden brown and steaming, served with a tart and fresh romesco sauce, is a great snack. Also, a recent plate of chicken skewers ($9, since replaced on the menu by a pork dish) with roasted vegetables was succulent, well spiced and made a nice meal.

At the new and improved Tiga, the menu is short, the cocktails stiff (and cheap—happy-hour well drinks and drafts are only $3) and the meals...square.

 
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