What does Txikito mean? Well, first of all, it's a play on the ancient Basque language where a T followed by an X makes a "ch". Therefore, you get the adorable name, pronounced "chic kee toh." What does "chic kee toh" mean? That two straight guys can never meet here for dinner. "Dude, meet me at Txikito." "What? What is that?" "This super cute tapas joint in Chelsea."
Aside from my hysterically immature observation about the name, Txikito really is a place best suited for a date. Spanish food in general is always a solid move for getting to know someone over dinner, what with the inherent shareability of small plates and the fact that you can pretend to be eating lightly but you actually just had your seventh meatball. Thanks for the illusion, tiny plate.
Txikito serves Spanish food from the Basque region of the country, so it's a bit different and more interesting than the nine other Spanish joints in this neighborhood. It's a quaint, fun spot with ample bar and dining room seating. The people are friendly, the wine list is interesting, and it's always lively. However, things can get expensive, fast. You wouldn't necessarily notice from the prices listed on the menu, but once you get eight plates deep into your meal, plus a bottle of wine, you're gonna be laying down some dough. The menu, by nature, can also be very hit-and-miss. I guess how much you'll like it depends on how much you typically expect to spend on a meal like this and how well you order. You can certainly find cheaper Spanish food in the area, probably even within a few blocks of here.
Speaking of nearby blocks, the area around 25th Street and 9th Avenue is and always has been a hotbed of First/Early in the Game Date destinations. Should Txikito not work out, there is always its new and improved sister restaurant, El Quinto Pino just around the corner. If El Quinto Pino is full, Co. is always there for a pizza and a bottle of wine. Still not feeling it? [Cookshop (http://www.theinfatuation.com/new-york/reviews/cookshop) is close, and that place is essentially fail proof. If you can't make it happen with those options at hand, you probably just can't make it happen. Maybe you should look into getting a cat.
These are little mushroom and shrimp grilled cheese sandwiches. You used to make those when you were a kid, right? Thought so. Order these.
There's a Spanish name for these on the menu but you have absolutely no chance of pronouncing it correctly, so just order the squid ribbons. They sit in a sweet onion and pine nut puree, and they are both a little bit weird and a lot delicious. A must order.
We're always down with a lamb meatball, and these are no exception. Tasty and lamb-y.
Pack 'em up, take 'em home, eat 'em at work the next day. Await inevitable promotion to CEO.
A pretty traditional Spanish croquette, but two come in an order and they're so small that you might not even know they are there. Skip it.
Delicious little canapes with chorizo and quail egg. This one you want for sure.
Three small crispy rolls that look almost like flautas, stuffed with blood sausage. Another good one, even if you're not typically crazy about blood sausage.