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Manhattan Tapas

Boqueria -- mini-review...NYC tapas places are simply never very good

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Boqueria -- mini-review...NYC tapas places are simply never very good

Simon | Dec 21, 2008 06:09 PM

Another NYC tapas disappointment

i went there tonight for a solo snack to check Boqueria out for possible future outings...i didn't hate it, and both dishes i had were reasonably tasty, but i doubt i'll return...

-- i found the restaurant so bright that it was off-putting...and the seating and atmosphere is the opposite of cozy...all hard edges and open seats...it's simply not a comfortable place to eat...

-- the staff's tacky shirts make it seem like a TGIF's...and while the service at the table was fine, i found the staff a bit on the unprofessional side (gabbing loudly w/ each other about various mixups that happened on other nights, generally acting like goofballs: reminded me of a typical LA restaurant that way)

-- both glasses of wine i had: a Cabernet Franc and a Tempranillo were tasty...it's a nice, easy-drinking list...

-- the lamb skewers...the lamb was tender and medium rare, but because of the way it was bunched on the skewers, some of the cubes were totally raw on the sides: unhealthy...i'm happy to eat the bluest of rare lamb, but you need to at least give all the surface area a whiff of a sear...i sent them back and they nicely brought me a totally new order that was more or less fine...

-- baby squid a la plancha...very tender and tasty...two quibbles: a bit of grit/sand (couldn't tell if it was in the squid or the arugula) and the drizzles of mayonnaise were unnecessary/icky (i noticed drizzles of mayo on other dishes at other tables too)...

Overall, there is some good food here (the various hams i saw looked yummy), but i'll probably never return mainly because it's too bright and uncomfy a setting to eat tapas, and the food wasn't enticing enough to compensate...just personal preference, but i think tapas places should be comfy...

Mini-rant: why can't NYC have even one tapas place that's even half as good as Harvest Vine in Seattle?...i haven't been to Tia Pol, but every other tapas place i've been to in NYC is mediocre/half-decent at best...

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