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Espana Tapas & Wine closes in St. James

The meat and cheese platter with assorted cheeses,

The meat and cheese platter with assorted cheeses, meats, olives and peppers at the now-closed Espana Tapas & Winein St. James.  Credit: Heather Walsh

A St. James tapas spot has closed and a new small-plates restaurant is expected to take its place this fall.

Espana Tapas & Wine had operated at 655 Middle County Rd. since at least 2011, serving up dishes such as paella and boquerones. According to a few sources, Saturday night's service was its last. A sign in the window reported that the restaurant was closed and would soon open under new ownership.

This week, chef Nicholas Trovato and his backers begin a six-week renovation of the storefront space for a new restaurant, Husk & Vine, which will focus on small plates pieced together from various regions of the world, as well as a broad selection of bourbons (hence the "husk" in the name) and wines (ditto for "vine").

Trovato comes most recently from the kitchen of The Hamlet Golf & Country Club in Commack, and said he had long ago cemented the idea and menu for a bistro where the focus is on both sustainably sourced ingredients and eclectic small plates. "Give me a Bic lighter and a barbecue, and I can feed 1,000 people," said Trovato.

Among the dishes on Husk & Vine's preliminary menu are cheddar pork cracklings with honey and pickled mustard seed; toro tuna tartare; skewered street corn; and pan-seared Niman Ranch filet mignon with burrata, shaved asparagus salad and cabernet syrup.

Husk & Vine will have 26 seats at the bar, and another 80 between the bar area and dining room; Trovato expects a soft opening in October.
 

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