Tomino Taberna Gallega is one of the freshest recent additions to the downtown Manhattan restaurant scene. The menu is inspired by the wonderful cuisine of Galicia, a region in Northwestern Spain. Tomino is a seafood-oriented restaurant, offering a variety of fresh fish. However, diners should not ignore the delicious empanadas, or the exceptional veal.
Tomino Taberna Gallega is the result of Marco Mario Gonzales’ dream. Gonzales is a first generation American, whose parents came from Northwestern Spain. From its inception, the inspiration for Tomino revolved around Galician cuisine. Gonzales sought to create a concept based on his heritage, and he has certainly succeeded. “The concept for the menu is Galician inspired cuisine. We wanted Tomino to be an authentic representation of our roots,” Gonzales said.
Gonzales and his two brothers designed the menu with the help of a prominent consulting chef from the Galician region of Spain, Lucia Freitas. The chef at Tomino is American born, but is of Galician dissent as well. Gonzales has taken advantage of the quality specialty products of Spain, and has incorporated them into the menu. “Spain is marketing and exporting products that you couldn’t find twenty years ago. There’s now a network of Spanish specialty products that have become available in U.S. markets relatively recently,” explained Gonzales.
Interestingly, Tomino Taberna Gallega came into existence through a real estate opportunity. Gonzales is also involved in the real estate industry, so when he saw the space, he envisioned Tomino. “Originally, we were going to market with the space, but we came to realize the value of the location and decided to come forth with the concept for Tomino. This particular restaurant has been a dream of ours for many years, and the space, timing, and location seemed opportune,” said Gonzales. The kitchen design and construction began with a raw space, which was ideal for kitchen designer, Brett Farrell of Raymond/Raymond Associates.
“We began with a raw space, which of course, required a total renovation. It’s certainly easier to design a kitchen on a blank canvas, because nothing is set in stone,” said Farrell. Previously, Farrell had done some work for Gonzales on a restaurant initiative several years before Tomino Taberna Gallega.
The process for the Tomino project began with Farrell meeting with Gonzales and viewing the space. “We always try to start with the storage and prep areas first, and then move our way through the flow of the kitchen. So the design process began from the prep area, to the cook area, and then out to the final areas,” explained Farrell. The NYC requirements make kitchen design a challenging process. Farrell had to fit a very tight prep station and dishwashing facilities on the main floor within the kitchen.
The most daunting of the project’s challenges was the restaurant ventilation strategy. KVent was brought in for their ventilation expertise, Farrell noted, and multiple Smog-Hogs and 2 Accurex Exhaust Systems were installed. “It was difficult to get the Smog Hogs up onto the roof, because we were trapped between two other buildings.” So it had to be passed through the skylight in the roof.
An integral member of the design build team on the Gonzales Manhattan project was Singer Equipment’s Bob Carucci. “This was an interesting project with an older building that has many odd wall shapes,” Carucci explained. “Having worked with Marco Gonzalez and his brother Felipe previously I understood the strong convictions on the type and quality of equipment they wanted. Brett’s design included a Josper charbroiler which we imported from Spain, along with a custom Hestan range battery and Electrolux combi oven. EMI’s custom fabrication included an angled offset coffee bar with refrigeration. The walk in paneling was totally customized to fit ledges and angled walls. EMI did a superb job on the custom fabrication that included an angled offset coffee bar with refrigeration. Prestigious Maintenance installed this intricate exhaust system from Accurex and 2 precipitators from UAS Smog-Hog. Our installers provided fillers and remained on-site to trim our equipment to building walls to create the finished look.” The results of excellent planning is a successful restaurant for the brothers Gonzales.
“Additionally, we had to put in two separate systems, because one of the ovens is solid fuel oven, which requires a totally separate Smog Hog from the rest of the cooking,” Farrell said. Despite the difficulties, Farrell and KVent were able to create an extraordinary kitchen within the given space. “The biggest challenge in spaces like this is finding room to do all the prep and storage aspects. We try to maximize what can be done in the small NYC footprints, while still complying with all of the codes,” said Farrell. Part of the restaurant provides diners with a view into Tomino’s pristine kitchen. In creating such a great kitchen, Gonzales was supported by Farrell, along with Singer Equipment’s Bob Carucci.
“We were thrilled to have the opportunity to execute Marco’s vision,” added Carucci.
Tomino Taberna Gallega offers diners a taste of Galician cuisine and culture. Gonzales and his brothers have certainly succeeded in making their dream of opening a Galician inspired restaurant a reality. Tomino is a unique restaurant that genuinely reflects a special region in Northwestern Spain.
To learn more about Tomino Taberna Gallega, visit their website.