titoltable.jpgRecently disturbed to find ourselves in Times Square, we stopped into Tintol, a new Portugese tapas and wine bar and were pleasently surprised- the bar looks like it's trying to forget that it is in the gaudiest place in the world, too. From Jose de Meirelles, a former partner (and co-executive chef) at Les Halles, and owner of the kosher steakhouse across 46th Street, Marais, Tintol has a Portugese take on small plates and an extensive wine list.

tintolstuffonbar.jpg We stopped in after curtain on the Broadway shows to find that every seat at the smallish bar was taken but the dining room just cleared out and, coerced by all the seafood on the menu, we accompanied our wine with food. Wine by the glass starts at $6 and our Douro was perfect- rich, full ($7). The small plates are just that- small, one of the portions tiny enough to fit in the center of a saucer, like the kind The Back Room serves gin and tonics on. Unlike alot of new resaturants in this vein, waitstaff didn't try to upsell everyone into ordering three. We tried the calamari ($7.50, under hot tapas), which was light, garlicky and delicious and the clams ($10) were served in a pot and with a salty, thick sauce not unlike a condensed bouillabaisse. The clams were fresh, and presented very well but just too salty for us to finish.

The during- theatre dining crowd was relaxed, youngish and at least one table was straight from 4 Times Square. Those at the bar seemed even less likely to be in Times Square- a motley group joking and grazing on brushetta from the pie cases on the counter. At the end the meal our server brought us a glass of Offley port, a very fruity, almost candied desert wine that took the chill out of actually leaving.

155 West 46th Street between Sixth & Seventh Avenues
(212) 354-3838