It's been a bad week at work, so the high-end chowhounding continues. We went to Pika in downtown New Haven on Wednesday night, and had a really great experience.
Pika has a huge list of what I consider to be reasonably priced wines ($20-40), and we shared a great rioja crianza. It's not quite a tapas restaurant as I expected--the menu is actually organized into "appetizers" and "entrees", and--since the appetizers are small and the prices range from perhaps $8 to $12--having enough of them to fill you up seems an impractical goal. We shared the peppers stuffed with oxtails and squid in ink to start; the peppers were fantastic and the oxtail meat tender, and the squid was a decent-sized and tasty portion, although the kitchen went too heavy on the ink sauce and the ink sauce had an odd undertone to it (almost like black beans). For my entree, I had the scallops, which were drowning in garlic--just how I like my food, although it's something to be forewarned of if you're not a huge garlic fan. My companion had the pork loin, which I actually wasn't a fan of (it was glazed with a sweet sauce and on a bed of semi-lumpy--although attractive-looking--potatoes), but my companion enjoyed--I think that the dish just seemed out of place in a Spanish restaurant.
The service was wonderful; there weren't many people in the restaurant, but the dishes came nicely spaced, and our waiter was knowledgeable and gracious.