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Bocado (Tapas) in Worcester

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This is my new favorite restaurant. They just opened. A friend ate their 2 night's ago and told me about it. I hadn't even heard about it at all. She had rave reviews.

So my husband and I went to check it out for an early New Year's Eve dinner. It was AWESOME! The service was great, the atmosphere was great, the food was the best!

I ordered a flight of wine. They let you try 3 2-oz portions of different wines. I told the waitress that I liked dry reds, and she had recommended one of the flights. She made a change on it just for me because one of them was supposed to be white. I especially liked the Cojito wine (If I remember the name correctly).

We had 4 tapas: lamb meatballs, garlic shrimp, fried rice balls with a melted cheese center, and a fois gras sandwich (unfortunately, as I ate, hubby told me about the fois gras controversy and I'll never order it again - though it tasted great).

We also had a meal for 2: the paella. Then, we finished the meal with churros and chocolate and cappucino. Delightful!

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  1. Thanks, Puppy. I have been wondering whether it was open yet. I'm glad to hear your report!

    1. Where is it? Sounds great.....

      1. We took exit 14 off of rt. 290. We were coming from the north, heading toward Auburn. Before the end of the exit, go to the right. Pass Chevalier Furniture. It's the next block up on the corner at the traffic light. There's a small parking lot at the intersection as well (across from the restaurant).

        1. We took exit 14 off of rt. 290. We were coming from the north, heading toward Auburn. Before the end of the exit, go to the right. Pass Chevalier Furniture. It's the next block up on the corner at the traffic light. There's a small parking lot at the intersection as well (across from the restaurant).

          3 Replies
          1. re: puppymomma

            what was the price range at Bocado?
            Thanks!

            1. re: uncle rico

              http://www.block5bistro.com/

              If it is anything like its sister restaurant you can check out this website.

              It is a combo site, but the Bocado part dosen't have details yet.

              1. re: uncle rico

                Our entire meal was about $84 (not including tip). That was for the 4 tapas (they ranged from about 4-12 dollars (the fois gras was the most expensive), the paella ($25 and was for two people, and had a lot of calamari, clams, mussels, shrimp, chicken, and suasage), the wine was about $7, and I don't remember the rest.

                They had specials that night. For $55 per person you got 4 cheese selections, 6 tapas, a meal for two, and a dessert. Then for $25 there was a wine special on several flights (I don't remember how many).

            2. I could not wait to go. Unfortunately I feel that my experience is going to be somewhat skewed, because my three friends and I did not make reservations. We had to wait two hours for a table. Three of us went through a sixty dollar bar tab just waiting for the table (Skip the bland pitcher of sangria and get a mojito instead). The water to accompany our drinks was not complimentary, although the hummus and breadsticks were. We were all very impressed with the pork loin fig and blue cheese, the garlic shrimp and the rice balls filled with mozzarella (glorified mozzarella sticks). The paella was pretty good. When we tried the waiters recommendation of the tuna burger we found it rather disappointing and our haddock fingers... the name van de kamp came to mind. The only thing that really made me decide that I would give it another chance (with reservations) was the staffs authentic concern for our disappointments, although we told them it was not necessary they removed the tuna burgers. Ultimately our bill came to about $140.00 with the tip included. One of my male friends also made a comment, when we returned home, that he would usually go out for dinner being less hungry than he was after our night at bocado.
              I love tapas and definitely feel that it is a step in the right direction for this area, I also understand how easy it is to linger at your table when enjoying this style of eating but the 2hr. wait just did not leave me in a great state of mind for the dinner.

              1. We went to bocado last night. Overall, the experience was very, very good. It's exciting to see more and more good restaurants opening in the Water Street district!

                The first thing you notice is how lovely the room is. Not too bright and not too dim, with comfortable low seating, exposed brick, and funky chandeliers. The whole atmosphere is relaxed but upscale and comfortable.

                Our waiter started by asking if we were familiar with tapas. We are, so didn't need a great deal of help with the menu, but we overheard the detailed help that was given to other tables, including help with ordering.

                Here's a rundown of what we had:
                1. Complementary thin breadsticks and red pepper hummus. Tasty.
                2. Plate of manchego cheese, valdeon cheese, and chorizo. All were very good, and the sweet/hot pepper garnish was outstanding if you like heat (which I do).
                3. Beef carpaccio with paprika oil and roja syrup. Very tender, but too mildly spiced to follow the strong flavors of the cheese and chorizo.
                4. Piquillo rellenos, stuffed with tasso, garbanzo beans, and goat cheese with onion crema. The peppers were tasty and not overcooked - they held the creamy filling together nicely.
                5. Braised rabbit in tomato and roasted garlic sauce. One of the highlights of the meal. Incredibly tender, not gamey at all, and super-rich flavors. Absolutely awesome.
                6. Seared foie-gras on toast with blueberry balsamic reduction and frisee. Very disappointing. The foie was fine but the toast was burnt and leant that flavor to the entire dish. I couldn't really taste the blueberry reduction, and the frisee was sandy. What could have been the high-point was the low-point.
                7. Mini-kobe beef burgers. Wow. These (just barely) topped the rabbit for our favorite dish. Most tender, flavorful burger I've ever had, with just the right amount of condiments and onions. I could live on these.
                8. Roasted baby potatoes with saffron and tomato aioli and black truffle oil. These were not what we expected - they are little cubed fried potatoes (maybe they're roasted, but were so crispy they seemed fried), sort of like home-fries. But don't get me wrong, they were awesome. Crispy and super tasty, the perfect accompaniment to the kobe beef mini-burgers. I don't know if I'll be able to go back to regular burgers and fries in a long time.
                9. Raw little necks on the half shell with dried tomato mignonette, lemon and tabasco. I wasn't crazy about the little necks. Compared to the other dishes they were sort of bland, though fresh and briney.
                10. Flan. I almost didn't order the flan, because it said was pomegranate/orange flan. As a flan purist, I usually prefer vanilla, with caramel. However, I am so glad we got it. This flan was closer to the consistency of a creme brulee - very smooth. The fruit was incredibly subtle, and the caramel was nice.
                11. Rice pudding. Served very hot, it was creamy and tasted of cardamom. Delicious and satisfying, though a little heavy after all of the food we ate.
                12. Beverages:
                Espresso - Yummy.
                Wine flights - I had two of the red wine flights featuring Spanish wines I was not familiar with. The "Old to New World" flight had one wine in particular that stood out. It was the third on the list - a Riserva, though I don't remember the name. Complex and delicious.
                Beer list was decent - hubby had a Stella. It went really well with the burgers and potatoes.

                The wine list is very cool - you can order most wines as 2oz, 4oz, 6oz, or a bottle.

                Our waiter was knowledgeable, and very attentive. Also funny - he (probably inappropriately) mentioned that most diners stayed away from the rabbit because they didn't want to eat "bunnies", but that it was his favorite. We liked him more for the comment, but then we're sort of twisted that way.
                All in all, a great addition to the Worcester food scene, and a place I know we'll be going back to regularly. Now when we want Tapas we won't be driving all the way to Waltham.

                1. What a great post. Thanks a lot -- definitely makes me want to head there soon.

                  1. Well, I went to Bocado again last night to celebrate my 40th birthday. My husband arranged for a little surprise party there. I had expected to be eating with one other couple.

                    This restaurant is the best! I had the best time of my life and the food and wine were terrific!!! I had several flights of the dry Spanish reds. Lots of Cortijo. I think that is my new favorite wine.

                    We had lots of cheeses and meats. Manchego, serrano ham, stuffed dates, the stuffed rice balls, the ham and cheese fritters (those were awesome), the raw tuna carpaccio, the salmon entree, the paella, churros and chocolate.

                    Everything was superb.

                    Oh, and they have a complementary valet if there's no parking in the lot when you arrive, and that was so helpful.

                    1. This is directed to Puppymomma. We are trying to find a spot roughly mid-way between Northampton (where we live) and Newton (where our friends live) to meet for a evening of fine dining. We all appreciate imaginative and high quality food and are looking for something special. You seem to have a good read on the Central Mass region. You are clearly excited about Bocado, based on your review above. Surfing around Chowhound has yielded 2 other leading contenders: Sole Proprietor (Worcester) and Cedar Street (Sturbridge). What are your thoughts on the matter? Are you still a fan of Bocado? Any other choices we should consider?