I love tapas. I love it so much that I had it for my birthday dinner last year in Iceland, and I usually end up in a tapas bar no matter where I go (somewhat similar to how we end up in an Irish bar in pretty much any world city we have ever visited ;))
My two favorite tapas restaurants in Boston are Toro in the South End and Taberna De Haro in Brookline. In my mind, these places could not be more different. Toro is very South End and does a mouthwatering, maybe more modern, twist on tapas you may have eaten before.
Taberna De Haro is like eating in a friend’s home. It is small, warm, and cozy with incredibly welcoming staff, a great wine list, and is usually bustling and busy, creating a fun, fiesta-like atmosphere.
This past Friday, to celebrate my husband leaving work before 7:00 and the fat that it was still light out at 5:25, we met after work in Brookline for a table full of our favorite tapas.
As always. I started with bubbly Spanish cava. We ordered many (too many) small plates to share:
Queso de cabra (Warm goat cheese with EVOO and oregano on bread)
Gambas al ajillo (Shrimp with garlic and olive oil)
Calamares fritos (Fried squid)
Papas arrugadas con mojo picon (Canary island potatoes with a spicy sauce)
Sopa Castellana (traditional garlic soup)
I loved everything, especially the creamy, rich, goat cheese and the hot garlicky soup, which had an egg poached in it. We all know how I feel about bright, runny egg yolks. Mmmm. The only thing I probably won’t order again, and this goes for any tapas restaurant, is the Gambas al ajillo. I am not sure if it is because they keep cooking in the sizzling oil, but no matter where I eat them, the shrimp in this dish are always overcooked and chewy. I have been to a dozen or more tapas restaurants in my life, and while I love the garlicky oil that the shrimp come in, I do not remember ever having shrimp that weren’t a little overdone.
We didn’t save room for dessert, in fact we brought some of the calamari and potatoes home for later, but Taberna De Haro has the most decadent, incredible dessert ever, rich, dark chocolate truffles topped with quality olive oil and sea salt. Probably the most heavenly dessert I have ever had in Boston.
Taberna De Haro is just outside of Kenmore Square, so its not at all far from downtown but feels a little tucked away which makes it more special.
It looks like I will have to eat again at Toro soon to be able to write a comparison post
Toro would actually be a perfect place for a Boston blogger get together sometime soon! Maybe when its a bit warmer out?