Thanks to its abundance of seafood, the concept of Spanish tapas culture has taken Boston by storm. So let’s check out some of the city’s best players - in Spanish dining, that is!
Boston is the big fish, if you will, of The Bay State, with seafood inspiring many regional dishes. It’s not surprising, then, that fresh tapas culture - of both mar and montaña varieties - has taken the city by storm. It’s time to check out Boston’s best players… in Spanish dining.
Can’t get over to Barcelona, Spain, for tapas anytime soon? Well fear not, as the elite gastronomists at Toro Boston have had it covered since 2005. James Beard award-winning chefs, Jamie Bissonnette and Ken Oringer, are firing out hot and cold plates that are on a par with those in the Catalan capital, in addition to an extensive Spanish wine and cocktails menu. Taking artsy-boho inspiration from the South of Spain and Ibiza in the Balearic Islands, Buena Vida is designed with love from floor to ceiling, and from front of house to kitchen. A modern take on what Spanish tapas should look like, Chef Landon Thompson mixes rare imported ingredients with classic dishes and insists on an impressive veggie offering - nearly half the menu is meat-free or plant based.
Must-try: Escalivada Catalana
The simplicity of seafood cooking in Spain and Portugal is the central focus of this retro elegant restaurant - that also boasts views over Boston’s South End. Atlántico is another of Chef Michael Serpa’s passion projects and it shows - each dish is carefully crafted with exciting flavors that smack of the Iberian Peninsula and its rich coastal cuisine.
Must-try: Chef Serpa’s multi-course menu
Inspired by Madrileño chef Julio de Haro’s childhood kitchen, the Estragon Tapas Bar is a well-established, quirky culinary tribute to the Spain of yesteryear. The food, however, is as fresh as it gets, and if you like typical tapas with a twist, this place is right up your alley.
Must-try: Calamares Fritos
Over in Brighton, Boston, Tasca Restaurant is offering an Old-World Spain tapas experience. If the interior alone isn’t enough to convince you, just wait till you savor their ample paella, pintxo and tapas menu. It’s meat and seafood heaven here, but there are plant-based options for lighter dining tastes. You choose!
Star-crossed owners Mario Leon and Tamara Bourso built their restaurant from the ground up, so you can imagine how much dedication - and detail - goes into the menu. At Dalí Restaurant you'll get the taste for tapas from all over Spain. Each platillo comes with its own story, of course, while you soak up the atmosphere of this homage to food, art, and love.
Must-try:Tocino con Manchego y Bocaditos de Pera
Last, but by no means least, the Taberna de Haro’s chef-owner and sommelier Deborah Hansen offers 40 years of insight to the lesser-known dishes from Spain, much to the delight of diners. Add the warm, cozy ambiance and a knowledgeable wine list - with awards for this place as long as your arm - to sum up a winner for Spanish date night.
Must try: Matrimonio