April 26, 2008

Boqueria - New York, NY

While watching Colameco’s Food Show this past weekend, the host took us (you know, me and the other viewers) to one of his favorite Spanish tapas bars in New York—Boqueria. If you are not familiar with the TV show, the host is extremely knowledgeable about food and is refreshingly not the least bit pretentious about it. Therefore, when he makes a strong recommendation for a restaurant, I know it will be excellent.

I went to Barcelona, Spain once a couple years ago for my friends’ wedding and during this trip really fell in love with the city (you may recall the series of Spanish posts that followed). I loved the laid back culture, and the food was so fun and creative. Therefore, I am always looking for great Spanish tapas places in the city where I can relax with a glass of red wine and graze on a wide selection of small dishes. When a friend wanted to meet up the other night, I was quick to use this as an opportunity to try out Boqueria.

Boqueria is named after an area in Barcelona that is known for hosting many of the cities tapas bars. The restaurant serves mainly Catalonian and Basque dishes, but other Spanish regions are also represented. Boqueria was opened by Suba owner Yann de Rochefort and Chef/Partner Seamus Mullen.

I arrived a bit early so I ordered a glass of wine and settled at the only open spot at the bar—conveniently right where the starter dishes are arranged. As I leisurely sipped on my wine, the guy in charge of the platters kindly explained to me all the various cheeses, meats, and condiments. (FYI, being seen taking food pictures at a restaurant does always help get better service.) I was in heaven.

My friend soon arrived so we moved onto our table. True to my memories of dining in Barcelona, the waitress made of point of letting us know we could take our time and followed through on her promise by allowing us to just catch up for a little while before even looking at the menu. I really love restaurants that recognize the dining experience is not always just about the food.

When we finally moved onto the menu, we learned that it consists of a wide selection of dishes that are served everyday and also includes a list of specials. In addition to this, they have a chalk board that lists the dishes the chef came up with on a whim for the day (I suppose you could call these the specials of the specials?). We selected about five dishes, mostly from the everyday dishes. My favorites were the Datiles Con Béicon (dates stuffed with almonds and valdeón, wrapped in bacon) and the Pintxos Morunos (seared lamb marinated in lemon and cumin, salsa verde), but honestly all the dishes were great. (Unfortunately, I did not take any pictures of these since the dining area was a bit dark.)

So if you are in the mood for some Spanish tapas, I definitely recommend Boqueria!

53 W 19th St (between 5th & 6th Ave)
Phone: 212-255-4160

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Anonymous Laura said...

We are going to this restaurant the next time I am in NYC. It sounds fabulous!

9:15 AM  
Blogger Carrie said...

oooh - thanks for the recommendation. I have been wanting to try this place and now definitely will do!

2:26 PM  

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