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Taberna de Haro; best restaurant in Boston area

teb Jul 1, 2008 09:20 AM

Superb food, interesting and varied menu, friendly and efficient service, pleasant and relaxed ambience. It is VERY authentically Spanish and has the best tasting food around.

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  1. Prav RE: teb Jul 1, 2008 10:10 AM

    So, uhh, what'dya order there?

    1. Bob Dobalina RE: teb Jul 1, 2008 10:23 AM

      I like Taberna de Haro, but it is not the best restaurant in the Boston area. Nice first post.

      1. BobB RE: teb Jul 1, 2008 10:40 AM

        Definitely the best and most authentic Spanish food in the area, but best overall? Much as I like it, that's a bit of a stretch.

        Then again, I don't know that I COULD pick a single restaurant as the overall best. It all depends what I'm in the mood for on a given day. But on days when Spanish fits the mood, Taberna de Haro is where I head.

        1. StriperGuy RE: teb Jul 1, 2008 11:06 AM

          I like TDH, but in no way is it the best restaurant in Boston. Do you have any ties to the restaurant.

          3 Replies
          1. re: StriperGuy
            teezeetoo RE: StriperGuy Jul 1, 2008 11:16 AM

            i have found the service erratic, the sherry abominably overpriced, and the food very good to surprising mediocre. not on my list of even best 50 restaurants.

            1. re: teezeetoo
              Chrispy75 RE: teezeetoo Jul 1, 2008 11:56 AM

              I've found the service to be downright rude, the prices rather high, the food underwhelming and the space uncomfortable and nosiy.

              If I am in the mood for tapas, which is about every 3-6 months, I usually now head to Tasca. I've found them to be better priced, more friendly (they gave us free wine when we had to wait one time) a more cozy space and the food better than what I've had at Taberna, Dali and Tapeo.

              1. re: Chrispy75
                BobB RE: Chrispy75 Jul 1, 2008 01:59 PM

                Can't comment on the service - I've had no problems, but have heard from others that at least one of the waitstaff can be pretty unpleasant - and yes, indoors it can be noisy and crowded (to my mind, in a good way), but to prefer the food at Tasca? Really? Tasca?

                We've eaten at Tasca a few times as it's not far from our house and we've never had food that comes near the quality and authenticity of Taberna de Haro. In fact on our last visit a couple of weeks ago we decided it just isn't worth bothering with at all anymore and have scratched it off our list.

                De gustibus...

          2. chowciao RE: teb Jul 1, 2008 11:29 AM

            I thought it was okay - the sangria was nice. The staff was okay. My SO didn't care for it at all. I prefer Loco Tapas in South Easton, to be honest. Far more choice and outstanding food.

            16 Replies
            1. re: chowciao
              BobB RE: chowciao Jul 1, 2008 11:58 AM

              Have you spent much time in Spain? I have and this comes closer than anywhere else in Boston to what I get in Madrid. It's also the only place I've found in the area that offers one of my favorite tapas dishes, plato matrimonio.

              1. re: BobB
                chowciao RE: BobB Jul 2, 2008 12:18 PM

                Bob which place are you referring to? Taberna or Loco? Both have that particular dish.

                1. re: chowciao
                  BobB RE: chowciao Jul 2, 2008 12:32 PM

                  Taberna. From my urban-centric, walk-everywhere-possible perspective, South Easton is halfway to the ends of the earth! ;-)

                  Loco does sound good, though. If I'm ever on my way to the South Pole I'll be sure to check it out. Especially since they're now the second place I know of in the US that serves the plato matrimonio.

                  1. re: BobB
                    galleygirl RE: BobB Jul 2, 2008 12:46 PM

                    I don't understand why that's such a big deal...It's just regular anchovies served with those fresh-marinated anchovies, right?

                    1. re: galleygirl
                      Ralphie_in_Boston RE: galleygirl Jul 2, 2008 12:57 PM

                      Yes half are the typical reddish variety, the other half the white ones, 'married' on the plate (hence the name).

                      Not rocket science but if they're marinated and seasoned properly, I love the dish as well.

                      1. re: galleygirl
                        BobB RE: galleygirl Jul 2, 2008 12:57 PM

                        With a bit of presentation artistry, yes, that's about it. It just happens to be a combination that, for me, powerfully evokes memories of my time in Spain. Not haute cuisine so much as a personal fetish, if you will.

                        1. re: BobB
                          galleygirl RE: BobB Jul 2, 2008 01:00 PM

                          I totally agree with both of you; I'm just such a little piggie about them, a tapas portion would never be enough,,,, ;)

                      2. re: BobB
                        Prav RE: BobB Jul 2, 2008 01:10 PM

                        Speaking of fishies, does anyone know where one can get boquerones - the whole, fried tiny fish (smelt?) so popular in Spain? I ordered boquerones at Tasca, and all I got were some limp, cold, un-fried anchovies, drizzled with a little olive oil. :(

                        I lived in Spain and sorely miss these crunchy lil' guys.

                        1. re: Prav
                          BobB RE: Prav Jul 2, 2008 01:21 PM

                          I know what you mean, and I'm sorry to report the last ones I had were in Greece. But the Spanish word boquerones also denotes the white marinated type that are used in the matrimonio. Maybe it just means anchovies? Perhaps a native Spanish speaker can clarify.

                          1. re: BobB
                            Prav RE: BobB Jul 2, 2008 01:24 PM

                            True, I think it might just be a general word for that type of fish. These are the boquerones fritos, the kind I crave:

                            1. re: Prav
                              steinpilz RE: Prav Jul 2, 2008 02:01 PM

                              I had some good fried smelts at ECG around a month ago.

                          2. re: Prav
                            MC Slim JB RE: Prav Jul 2, 2008 01:31 PM

                            I've heard rumors that fried smelts can be had somewhere in Boston, but I recently traveled to Jack's Family Restaurant in Warren, RI, a great little family-run place I've been going to since I was a kid. They still do the fried smelts, and they are still wonderful. It's basically an Italian-American menu done by Portuguese-American cooks. We had stuffies, chicken parm, littlenecks in garlic and oil, pork and clams, pork chops with vinegar peppers, clams casino, steamers, and Jack's famous spaghetti special, a spicy white sauce with clams, squid, scallops, langostinos, and lobster, just lovely. Draft pitchers of the newly-reformulated Narragansett (very nice), $18 bottles of vinho verde. The bill came to about half what I expected. Nice to find a beloved place of my youth largely unchanged, still friendly and a great value.

                            1. re: MC Slim JB
                              itaunas RE: MC Slim JB Jul 2, 2008 02:01 PM

                              Smelts always available in the heated case in the market or by the box at the restaurant (restaurant is closed this week) at Courthouse in Cambridge. They also offer fried Mackrel for a slightly oilier but bigger fish (some mediterranean fried fish are oilier than I think of our smelts being). Also seen both at Fernandes Fish market and Cross Street Market in the same area. There has gotta be something in the Somerville/Medford/Malden/Everett area that offers beer and smelts, only place I can think of is Moulton's. A lot of new fish places don't tend to serve them (thinking of Pescatore), Legals stopped, don't think Morse Fish serve them.

                              BTW, if you buy a case or so of new 'Gansett at local liquor stores you get a very 70s style tie.

                              1. re: MC Slim JB
                                Ralphie_in_Boston RE: MC Slim JB Jul 2, 2008 02:35 PM

                                Yankee Lobster on Northern Ave often has fried smelts on special. I had them there a few months ago and they were very good.

                              2. re: Prav
                                Ralphie_in_Boston RE: Prav Jul 2, 2008 02:33 PM

                                When I ordered boquerones at Tasca (years ago), I got hot anchovies. They were good though.

                                1. re: Prav
                                  MC Slim JB RE: Prav Jul 2, 2008 02:46 PM

                                  I always thought boquerones were just white anchovies, lightly cured. I know that's what you get when you order them at DalĂ­ and at Tapeo.

                        2. MC Slim JB RE: teb Jul 1, 2008 12:05 PM

                          I like Taberno de Haro a lot. I think the big, all-Spanish wine list is especially noteworthy. Nice patio, generally great hospitality (at least from the owner and most of the waitstaff, if not that one perpetually sour-faced server), lovely and I think rather authentic Spanish food.

                          Best-tasting food all-around? Best restaurant in Boston? I guess that's a very personal call. Maybe you really, really, REALLY like Spanish food. But even then, I think you'd have to give some props to certain specific dishes that Toro, Estragon, and even Dali do better. Still, nobody does papas arrugadas like TdH. I'd narrowly call it my favorite Spanish place in Boston.

                          1. s
                            SSqwerty RE: teb Jul 1, 2008 01:28 PM

                            Best restaurant in Boston? Then it's changed a lot from the one time I was there.

                            1. k
                              katzzz RE: teb Jul 2, 2008 05:35 AM

                              I've got a question. Intrigued by this discussion and never having been to Taberna de Haro, I checked out the menu on their web site. It sure seems expensive for tapas! While there are a few cheap-ish plates -- $5 for olives and the likes -- most are in the $10 and up range, and with numerous tempting options for $20 or more. In other words, are they offering tapas-sized servings at entree prices? Or are these $20 plates full size dinners? In which case, isn't that defeating the whole tapas concept?

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: katzzz
                                BobB RE: katzzz Jul 2, 2008 06:00 AM

                                They offer several different sizes of plates - tapas, "raciones," which are somewhat larger and meant to be shared, and larger plates, or platos. It is a bit confusing that their Menu page only says tapas, but they're not all little dishes.
                                People in Spain do not live by tapas alone! Read the description (linked to from their Menu page) of the concept of the taberna.

                              2. Alcachofa RE: teb Jul 2, 2008 02:04 PM

                                I support this post! It's good to get an opinion that makes no bones about one's opinion once in a while.

                                It does seem to come out of the blue, though.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: Alcachofa
                                  finlero RE: Alcachofa Jul 2, 2008 07:01 PM

                                  > It does seem to come out of the blue, though.

                                  True enough, but I trust the mods' implicit assertion this is genuine.

                                  teb, welcome to the Boston CH community. I was hoping to get a little context for your bold statement -- are there any other restaurants that you particularly do/don't like around Boston?

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