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Boston Tapas

j
Jim Leff Apr 11, 2000 08:20 PM

Over on the General Topics" board, Caitlin was suggesting names of tapas place she found from the "Z" guide people:

<< Tapeo, on Newbury Street in Back Bay; Dali, in
<< Somerville; and Taberna de Haro, in Brookline. I
<< can assure you that many tapas restaurants around
<< here have Spanish proprieters"

Actually, the big problem with tapas bars is that they're often run (and even more often staffed) by South Americans, and that cuisine is way different than the Mediterranean cuisine of Spain. Dali, with its over-the-top Iberian decor, is a particularly glaring example of this. VERY Latino-tasting tapas. The place is nonetheless very popular, great wine list, and the food's good if inauthentic.

Tapeo is owned by the same people as Dali

Better, though the atmosphere is way too chi-chi for a true tapas restaurant (they're low class in Spain) is Mercury Bar (116 Boylston St., 482-7799), if it's still open.

Tasca (1612 Commonwealth Ave., 730-8002)
is actually owned by Irishmen, but the tapas are pretty good.

IMPORTANT: these opinions are pretty stale, so caveat eater. I haven't checked these places in 3 years or so (but that's still fresher than the opinions you'll find in the Za...Zaaaaaaa....the "Z" book)

ciao

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  1. c
    Caitlin RE: Jim Leff Apr 12, 2000 10:55 AM

    "IMPORTANT: these opinions are pretty stale, so caveat eater. I haven't checked these places in 3 years or so (but that's still fresher than the opinions you'll find in the Za...Zaaaaaaa....the "Z" book)"

    Absolutely. I haven't been to any of them (never been to Boston), and don't rely on Zagat for anything but addresses, but I just wanted to show Julie that tapas exist outside NYC!

    5 Replies
    1. re: Caitlin
      j
      julie id RE: Caitlin Apr 12, 2000 01:27 PM

      > Absolutely. I haven't been to any of them (never been to Boston), and don't rely on Zagat for anything but addresses, but I just wanted to show Julie that tapas exist outside NYC!

      A) I've never once looked in a Zagat. Thought they were just for foofy places. If anything, I might flip through a Lonely Planet or Takarajima, though.

      B) Appreciate the references. I've pretty much conceded defeat on the term anyway. But I might check out the restaurants at some point.

      C) Now I must ask, however [sigh]....what is "chi-chi"?!?!?!?!?! We use that in reference to "tropical"/Polynesian (i.e.TACKY) *Chinese* restaurants...you know, the kind of place serving scorpion bowls, chi-chis, and pina coladas. I take it you guys use it in the general case, to mean ANY tacky place with tropical drinks?? Or indeed any foofy restaurant in general??

      Would Fridays be chi-chi? Spago's? Planet Hollywood? The Waldorf? Something expensive in the North End/Little Italy? An upscale sushi place?

      Until now I might only use that term for TRADER VIC'S and the like....

      1. re: julie id
        s
        Steven Stern RE: julie id Apr 12, 2000 01:53 PM

        Julie:

        Get a dictionary.

        Really, it's much easier to look up a word than to post every little question that pops into your head.

        Link: http://www.m-w.com/cgi-bin/dictionary...

        1. re: Steven Stern
          j
          julie id RE: Steven Stern Apr 14, 2000 06:47 PM

          Steve --

          I may indeed have lucked out on "tapas" and "chi-chi" doing that, but that hardly addresses the issue of whether the terms are actually in USE, and WHERE.

          That dictionary might convince me that "tapas" and "chi-chi" are common, indeed, but only at the expense of concluding that other terms ("shumai", "leche flan", "sambal", "gordito", "mirin", "boxty", "hummos", ...) AREN'T. Not to mention my precious "beef tapa", which started all this.

          C'mon now, every region is different, and not everyone knows/uses the same set of pseudo-foreign terms ("sambal" is a household term to me, but I had never heard of "tapas"; some here who think "tapas" is so common, might not know "sambal"). You/Jim/others toss around a lot of terms I don't recognize; in *MOST* cases I don't ask. And in ALL cases I start with the assumption that it is my OWN inadequacy at fault. So I don't think I should "trust a dictionary" the few times that I DO ask.

          Besides, the last time I saw "chi-chi" in a post, someone rendered it "shi-shi". That means to *URINATE* in my part of the country!! ("Gotta make shishi....") Need a lot bigger dictionary than WWWebster to catch THAT distinction!!

          ***HOWEVER*** -- and I say this sincerely -- I will make a better effort from now on of vetting terms before I toss them out as questions. You are the person who posted that **SPECTACULAR** D.A.R.E. link (among other good ones); you are the **LAST** person I want to piss off.

          I will also try to make amends, however small, with a link of my own. The following (just recently changed from a university site to a dot-com) is the most amazing collection of dictionary links I've ever seen. A true linguo-geek's NIRVANA ("Porno for Polyglots"?). And it even has your WWWebster as its first link to boot....

          Link: http://www.yourdictionary.com

          1. re: julie id
            j
            Jim Leff RE: julie id Apr 15, 2000 12:39 AM

            Julie--if you absolutely MUST post this kind of stuff on chowhound.com, please do so on the General or Not About Food boards.

            People come to the Boston board looking for food tips, not linguistic musings.

      2. re: Caitlin
        t
        Tom Stebbins RE: Caitlin Jul 13, 2000 10:38 AM

        The fancy-schmancy North End joint, Bricco, has Italian tapas. They call them tastings, but their are no main course versions of the tastings.

        If you are looking for a fun North End adventure, stop by Bricco, sit at the bar and enjoy a cocktail and a few of the tastings, and then head to a smaller, beer-and-wine licensed place for dinner. Many of the best restaurants in the North End (Sage, Terramia, Monica's) don't have liquor licenses and often the places that do (Assagio, Fontina's) are not that good.

        So if your looking for more mediterranean (sp) tastes in your tapas, try the interesting tastings at Bricco. You can usually get a seat at the bar...

        Tom

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