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Restaurants & Bars

Boston Area

Dali, Somerville

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Dali, Somerville

Limster | May 6, 2003 01:16 AM

Dali paints itself with festive scarlet hues, the colour of sunset. Hams, garlic and chilli peppers hang over the three person deep bar, busy and packed. It glitters and shines with a Goya-esque earthiness, the surrealism is limited to the lively high decibel sangria-drenched party atmosphere, especially after plenty of drinking.

Portions are small (most plates might provide 4 or 5 comfortable bites) but suitably sized for tapas, and prices weren't excessive (averaging $6-7 per plate, IIRC), which makes grazing possible and necessary.

On my two trips there, I had too many bites to keep track of, and suffered from an impressionistic tasting. Still, a couple of things came across a most memorable. There was the squid ink sauce that cloaked the stuffed squid, that dark unique oceany flavour that proved delicious. The orange and mint green cream sauces were rich and lovely around the white asparagus, and I wish I knew what spices and herbs they carried.

At the other end of the spectrum, the tortilla wasn't as robust as I liked; in my mind, the balance of egg and potato weighted a bit much toward the former. Octopus wasn't bad, but clammy, and could have been more tender.

Most dishes hovered around average to good; most were honest rustic dishes that satisfied, at least until the next one came.

It was enjoyable on the whole, but revelations were rare, and a fair bit of it might have been sangria-coloured. Fun definitely and wonderful for a party.

P.S. To add my fuel to the tapas debate, if it just came down to food alone, I would pick Taberna de Haro over Dali.

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