Tico, Boston

So many appealing small plates, so little time! A chilly Tuesday night dinner with friends was enough to warm me up and to guarantee I will be back to Tico very soon.

Tico is the new venture of Chef Michael Schlow and as luck would have it, a restaurant that is directly across the street from my former office, a place I spent 2.5 years. As luck would also have it, a wine and cheese store opened IN the building I used to work in after I quit, but I digress.

Over a few tweets about the opening of Tico, Daisy, Justin, Megan, Michelle, Tania and I talked about a group dinner that finally came to fruition on Tuesday night. Tuesday also happened to be National Margarita Day, so we started off with a round of margaritas. Tico unfortunately does not have a drinks menu set up yet, but they make several different types of margaritas like the blood orange margarita below. It was delish.

blood orange margarita

Once we had all arrived, we were seated at a nicely sized table, perfect for sharing small plates. Tico definitely gets two thumbs up for space. Though it is a large restaurant, tables are not close together, and I didn’t really notice anyone else while we were dining.

After browsing the menu, we finally decided on tacos and small plates to share. And then the food started coming.

Crispy Fried Manchego cheese with spicy pomegranate honey sauce – This was one of my favorites. Tender bites of fried cheese with a sweet, syrupy sauce made for that perfect salty/sweet contrast.

Crispy Fried Manchego cheese with spicy pomegranate honey sauce

Brussels sprouts with bacon, kumquats, mint and jalapenos- I also loved these. I don’t remember seeing any kumquats, but the Brussels were cooked to perfection, and really bacon and Brussels sprouts are always right.

Brussels sprouts with bacon, kumquats, mint and jalapenos

Shrimp toast with avocado, pickled jalapenos and lime – This was my least favorite dish of the evening. In theory, it sounded like something I would love, but it was not very hot and the toast was kind of oil-soaked. I would pass on these next time.

Shrimp toast with avocado, pickled jalapenos and lime

Crispy fried chicken with fennel slaw & spicy buttermilk dressing- Of all of the tacos we tried, I expected to like these the least but loved them, especially the spicy buttermilk dressing. It had a kick! And I love crunchy fennel. This was a great combination of flavors. One thing to note about all of the tacos was that I was not crazy about the tortillas. They were cold and a little too thick. Other than that, Tico tacos rock.

Crispy fried chicken with fennel slaw & spicy buttermilk dressing

Creamy Gigante Beans with chorizo and green onion- Another surprising favorite, the gigante beans were SO flavorful and tender with nicely spiced chorizo.

Creamy Gigante Beans with chorizo and green onion

Crispy Sweetbreads with masa harissa, endive, blood orange and hazelnuts- I passed these up but am sad I didn’t try the harissa as it is one of my favorite sauces.

Crispy Sweetbreads with masa harissa, endive, blood orange and hazelnuts

Crispy Fish, pickled onions & red jalapeno- These were another hit. For East Coast fish tacos, they were quite good.

Crispy Fish, pickled onions & red jalapeno

Octopus with yellow peppers, citrus, and Aleppo pepper- I also loved this (seeing a trend?). The octopus was tender and flavorful, the citrus really giving it a nice punch and likely responsible for how tender the octopus meat was.

Octopus with yellow peppers, citrus, and Aleppo pepper

Snap Peas with orange zest, Tabasco butter and “crunchies” – More citrus, more yum. These snap peas were nice and crunchy with a little kick.

Snap Peas with orange zest, Tabasco butter and “crunchies”

Spicy Shrimp, bacon and avocado – The avocado and bacon made these, in my opinion. The shrimp were good, but the other components definitely made them a repeat order.

Spicy Shrimp, bacon and avocado

“Creamed” Corn with Bacon, Chiles and Thai Basil- Though not very creamy, this was another great dish. I love corn, I have come to love bacon, and this was actually nice and light.

“Creamed” Corn with Bacon, Chiles and Thai Basil

And then came dessert!

I actually chose a warm car ride home over staying to eat dessert, so I snapped a couple of quick photos, grabbed a bite of the bright, tart, creamy lemon sabayon, and left my dining companions to devour the desserts, which looked beautiful (and left me wanting dessert for the rest of the night!).

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I had such a fun time with bloggers who have become friends, and Tico definitely impressed me. There are quite a number of dishes on the menu that I need to try, the price was right ($40/per person for all that food + a drink!) so a return visit with the husband is in order very soon. Now if they could just get that drink menu up on their website so I can obsessively plan each part of my meal. . .

Come on, I can’t be alone on this! When you are going out to dinner, do you look at the menu beforehand (multiple times like I do!)?

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Tags: bloggers, Boston, brussels sprouts, dessert, Food, margaritas, Michael Schlow, octopus, Restaurants, tacos, Tico

  1. Stephanie @ The Cookie Battle’s avatar

    You are absolutely not alone! I always look at the menu (for at least a good half hour) the morning I am going out to dinner. What can I say? I like to be prepared!

    Reply

  2. Daisy’s avatar

    such a great night! I’m with you, they need to finalize that drink menu stat (I don’t get what’s taking so long?)

    Reply

  3. Michelle’s avatar

    I’m always scoping out the menu before I go anyplace – new or someplace I’ve been before!

    Reply

  4. Elina (Healthy and Sane)’s avatar

    Whoa, new design (sorry, I have a lot of catching up to do!!).
    Tico sounds like fun. For some reason their website won’t load – where is it?
    I really try not to look at the menu online because I’ve been dissapointed so many times after having my heart set on a dish that either was no longer on the real menu or they were out of. So now, unless someone starts talking to me about what we’ll be eating (like tonight – we’re going to Journeyman!) I really try to save the “surprise” for when I’m there!

    Reply

  5. Elina (Healthy and Sane)’s avatar

    Oh I got it. It’s that new place in Back Bay. Must check it out since I live in the hood :)

    Reply

  6. MelissaNibbles’s avatar

    I’ve enjoyed the reviews on everyone’s blogs about Tico. I’m craving a blood orange margarita like you read about!

    Reply

  7. Kelly’s avatar

    Oh yes- I ALWAYS look at the menu beforehand at a restaurant and it’s totally my pet peeve when it’s not updated and it’s wrong when I get there. I have had so many ideas of what I wanted to eat in my mind and then I get there and they don’t have it- boo!

    Reply

  8. Megan’s avatar

    Multiple times! It’s always good to know what I’m getting into. Dinner was so much fun. Loved visiting with you as always!

    Reply

  9. betsy’s avatar

    OK I need to go to this restaurant now!

    Reply

  10. alicia’s avatar

    Yum – this all looks great – I love seeing everyone’s pictures!!

    I am getting sushi with my neighbors tonight and have looked at the menu no fewer than 10 times. You’re not alone.

    Reply

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