Tuesday, May 25, 2010


My original boss in NYC and now good friend ML, a Mexican native, is the person who first introduced me to Boqueria. She had invited me to a lecture at the Fashion Institute of Technology in Chelsea and we decided to grab a bite to eat afterwards to catch up. ML remembered having amazing tapas in a nearby restaurant but didn't remember the name so we went in search of it and with the help of Google finally arrived at Boqueria, on 19th between 5th and 6th, which turned out to be a very narrow but long space, completely packed with diners and particularly loud.

I instantly loved the decor with its characteristic New York exposed bricks and high tables and chairs but most importantly I fell in love with all the tasty morsels of food we shared, particularly the Pane con Tomate with Proscuitto, which I am actually obsessed with. I have subsequently taken many friends there and distinctively remember one evening in particular with my friend IB (who had never been there before) when we ordered said Pane con Tomate four times in a row as she loved it as much as I do!

Having said all that, the noise levels in the restaurant were such that I never completely enjoyed the experience. I was therefore very intrigued when Chef Seamus Mullen expanded his empire and opened a second Boqueria, this time in Spring Street, Soho.

While retaining the same feel and atmosphere as the original restaurant, this one is more spacious and therefore a little quieter. With the food as delicious as ever, my prayers were answered and the Soho branch is now my venue of choice.

Aside from the Pane, my favourite tapas include Pintxos Morunos (lamb marinated in lemon and cumin and served with salsa verde), Txipirones (baby squid a la plancha with arugula), Cojonudo (quail eggs and chorizo on toast) as well as the Churros to dip in a delicious chocolate sauce. I also love the excellent brunch menu, which includes the most delicate yet satisfying soft scrambled eggs with juicy shrimps and Guindilla peppers on a brioche bun... to be consumed with a lot of sparkling Rose wine of course :-)

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