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Authentic Spanish restaurant

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Looking for a Spanish restaurant (preferably North Shore) to take my son to for lunch this week. He lived in Spain a while back and is coming home for Christmas. Would like to have a reminder of his lovely time in Spain. I will end with appropriately - Gracias and Feliz Navidad.

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  1. I can't really comment on how authentic it is, but I liked Dali in Cambridge. It's a fun and lively place. They have tapas and one of their specialties is Pescado a la Sal (fish baked in salt). See http://www.dalirestaurant.com/

    4 Replies
    1. re: natureboy

      Sorry, I don't know the North Shore, but I've spent a lot of time in Madrid on business, and Taberna de Haro is absolutely the most authentic Spanish food in town. It's the only place I've seen in the US that serves one of my favorite dishes, the "matrimonio" tapas plate, which is a wonderful arrangement of white (pickled) and black (salt-cured) anchovies.

      1. re: BobB

        YES! That's my favorite dish as well.! Since you've been to Spain and alll, what is your take on the larger portions available on Taberna de Haro's menu? In addition to the tapas, they offer large plates as well (if I remember correctly). Is that aspect of their menu authentic to Spanish practice?

        1. re: Ralphie_in_Boston

          Larger portions are common outside of tapas bars, but so is sharing. In many restaurants you order a main course like meat of fish, and they bring out large plates of sides to share. Sometimes it's all large plates served family-style.

          1. re: BobB

            Ah, that makes sense. When I first saw the larger plates on their menu I was worried that they'd strayed from authenticity in order to please the big-portion-seeking American customers!

    2. Several Portuguese, but no Spanish restaurants on the North Shore. The most authentic, around, and with the best food, is Taberna de Haro in Brookline, but don't know if they're open for lunch

      1. TORO on Washington in the South End. Pricey but very authentic.

        1. I also like Taberna de Haro, but haven't been there in a few years. La familia Haro from Spain owns the place, I am told (attesting to authenticity). I've read reviews of less-than-great service there but I've never had problems. As mentioned earlier it is likely not open for lunch though.

          Food *and* atmosphere is very good at Dali, but it gets crowded and parking is an adventure.

          I believe the owners of Dali also own Tapeo, which gets extra points for entertaining a visitor, as it's on Newbury Street!

          Tasca on Comm Ave in Brighton has a non-Spaniard as its proprietor (I believe he's an Irish guy) but is also very good IMO for atmosphere and food.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Ralphie_in_Boston

            My perpetual comment about Dali and Tapeo: there ain't actually much Spanish about it. The owners are Argentine and the food is "Spanish" not actually authentically Spanish really at all. Food ain't bad, not great either. More about the "Spanish" atmosphere then anything genuine.

            1. re: Ralphie_in_Boston

              re: Taberna. She's from the US, met her husband in Madrid and they eventually moved here.

            2. I love Taberna de Haro in Brookline; it's become our family favorite for pretty much any special event. The food is the best, and I love the general atmosphere. I also keep hearing bad things about service, but I've really only had terrific service. The owner/head chef has been there everytime I've gone, and is personally very attentive. One tricky thing: they don't take reservations, though they can usually recommend a time. I'm also not sure about lunch, but you can always call.

              Dali is also very good. Tasca can be fine, but it's not really my favorite. I wish I knew of any places on the North Shore, but considering that my parents who live on the North Shore are always coming down to visit me in Boston when they want tapas, I think they're a little scarce.