Kris Blondin’s Stink Tank wine bar in Tacoma’s St. Helens neighborhood is getting a new name, chef and menu. Well, except it’s not really a new name. El Tufo translates as “stink” in Spanish. Stink also is the name of Blondin’s adjacent meat and cheese shop and cafe, which she opened in April 2011.
El Tufo‘s theme is a great catch for Tacoma, which lacks a Spanish-themed bar or eatery.
As with Stink Tank, half of El Tufo’s theme will focus on what’s in the glass. Wrote Blondin in an email, “I love Spanish food and wine. The great thing about (Spanish) wines is the exceptional quality at a very reasonable price. Aside from the heavy focus on Spanish wines, we also offer a few domestic Spanish varietals as well as local and other imported wines. Before summer, I am hoping to offer sangria and other cocktails involving vermouth, port and other wine-based liquors.”
The menu, she said, will be themed exactly as one would expect for a Spanish restaurant — small plates. She’ll offer 14 tapas, priced $3-$6. Said Blondin, “There are meat, vegetarian/vegan and seafood options. We are hoping to please as many people as we can while mixing and matching great food at an affordable price.”
The menu lists marcona almonds and olives ($3); a mushroom empanada ($5); white beans sauteed with sliced Sausage chorizo ($5); flatbread with grape chutney, Speck prosciutto, blue cheese and red onions ($6); Mahon cheese fried in olive oil ($5) with a spicy tomato sauce and there’s even Spanish dessert, a sherry and olive oil cake with vanilla liqueur, almonds and powdered sugar ($4).
To execute that new menu, Blondin has hired Ben Marcus, formerly of Puyallup restaurants Charlie’s and Powerhouse and more recently Tacoma’s Hob Nob. He also worked with his brother at Parkland’s From The Bayou. Wrote Blondin, “I hired Ben Marcus because he has a great reputation as a forward-thinking chef.”