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Restaurants & Bars

Bouqueria in Chelsea - Terrific !

RCC | Nov 5, 200601:01 PM    

This place is very noisy, noisier than the Barcelona marketplace with which is was named after. It has closely-arranged individual high tables (btw, no individul table for us, as we took the first available shoulder-to-shoulder communal table), and has a no reservation policy. A potential turn-off ... unless you're into very good Spanish tapas and other entree-sized dishes, and decent selection of Spanish wines.

We had the fried quail eggs on chorizo and toast (excellent!), the salt cod croquette (double wow!), the exceptional chopped razor clams dish on shell (a special for the night), the memorable crispy roast pork and figs (another special). It was almost like each dish were competing to out-do the previous one. Not to be too regal about a tapas meal, but everything was appropriately crowned by our shared hazelnut ice cream on chocolate mousse dessert. A nice touch was the menu lay-out- thoughtfully divided in terms of the sizes of the plates/portions.

The 2004 Protos Roble Ribera del Duero that our waiter steered us to was merely OK, just sufficient to complement our meal. Next time, I would go with the costlier Alejandro Fernandez bottle that I initially inquired about.

We wanted to try this restaurant last week, but instead walked into the heavy post-NYTimes-Bruni-review crowd last night. Tight, crowded and extremely busy, but a dinner that was a real treat and very well worth it.

We'll be squeezing in for more tapas sometime soon.

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