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New Tapas Place in Woburn Center?

opinionatedchef Dec 10, 2013 08:17 PM

We did a trip tp EZ Indian Market in Woburn Ctr. the other day and I could swear I saw a storefront sign for "__ _ _ x_ _ Tapas" . Some corner of my brain is saying that an "x" in a Spanish name often/usually has a Basque connection (is that true?), but has anyone else seen this sign? It looked to be somewhat to the left of Tre Monte.

  1. opinionatedchef Mar 19, 2014 10:47 PM

    i think this was our 5th visit to Pinxto Pincho tonight. What a treat. We had the Potato Tortilla, Sangria Rojo,
    Veg Croquetas, Shrimp in Garlic, Lamb with chimichurri, mushrooms in garlic and sherry, Asparagus w/ Romesco. Every time we go , we learn something new about their food. Tonight Pepe told us that one of the reasons their Tortilla is the 'best in the world' (my claim!) is that Joaquin uses blue eggs. (I didn't get the farm name.) I'm sure if i had seen them, i would have thought, "Wow, that's some awful big robins there"!

    Every dish was perfectly cooked and succulent. I finished off with my fav dessert- the almond crema. BTW, they have added some layered tortes (Lemon and Chocolate and Fig tonight) to their menu. They are always changing up the menu, which is fun.( But i am still waiting for him to bring back that incredible Galician Tuna Empanada and the Norwegian Salmon cru w/ shrimp on crostini !)

    1. mcel215 Feb 20, 2014 05:58 AM

      Thanks everyone, I am finally going tonight and made a list to try. :) Will report back.

      www.saffron215.blogspot.com

      1 Reply
      1. re: mcel215
        mcel215 Feb 20, 2014 05:33 PM

        My plans fell through and I didn't get here as planned.

        I'm hoping to get there this weekend.

        www.saffron215.blogspot.com

      2. d
        Dinsdale45 Jan 24, 2014 12:00 PM

        Is there any kind of online presence/menu yet?

        1 Reply
        1. re: Dinsdale45
          mcel215 Jan 25, 2014 02:57 AM

          I called and asked them and they said they don't even have a paper menu yet!

          The owner did invite me to come in and he would give me one of their menus though, which I thought was very generous.

          I intend to try this place as soon as the weather warms a bit!

          www.saffron215.blogspot.com

        2. MC Slim JB Jan 22, 2014 09:49 AM

          "A topless restaurant?" This is the response I get at least half the time I mention a tapas restaurant.

          http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

          1. p
            phonelady Jan 22, 2014 09:29 AM

            Nice review in the Globe today

            6 Replies
            1. re: phonelady
              Allstonian Jan 22, 2014 10:15 AM

              Here's a link: http://www.bostonglobe.com/lifestyle/...

              (Parenthetically, while "Guernica" is certainly an iconic Spanish painting, I'm not at all sure I'd want to contemplate it while eating. We can hope that they don't add another mural with a copy of Goya's "Saturn Devouring His Children"...)

              1. re: Allstonian
                StriperGuy Jan 22, 2014 11:15 AM

                Totally agree.

                Hysterical/bizarre choice to paint a rendition of Guernica on the wall of a restaurant.

                It is after all Picasso's pictorialization of the horrors of war. See wikipedia for details if you are interested.

                In all fairness Saturn Devouring His Son is even worse, though I suppose chowish in a kind of sick cannibalistic way.

                1. re: StriperGuy
                  Allstonian Jan 22, 2014 11:40 AM

                  My point exactly. In fact, both of my points.

                2. re: Allstonian
                  opinionatedchef Jan 22, 2014 08:57 PM

                  That's exactly what i thought when i saw it. But they are so proud of the sous chef's double talents that you really don't want to bring up reality with them. Besides, from the customers i have seen there, it's a pretty safe guess that 90% of them don't even know there WAS a Spanish Civil War, and there are plenty of alluring food plates to keep one's attention on the table.

                  1. re: opinionatedchef
                    tatsu Jan 22, 2014 09:42 PM

                    The chef did a number of paintings as well around the restaurant. They both show talent and I liked it the mural, civil war or not. It was instantly recognizable but hell, I can't do that, and the most I expect is plastic framed tourist photos behind plexiglass.

                    I thought the food was great except the paella and the wine selections weren't to my personal tastes but they are chosen with care. I would go back except for the paella, which needs overhauled. I am pretty sure the anchovies were house-made and pleasantly reminded me of saba at sushi places. The octopus was great and I can't quite figure out how the center was fully cooked but the outside was so tender.

                    They are struggling to keep up with demand but long waits for the kitchen to keep up and a couple missed orders are easy to forgive on Spanish time. It has to be the best restaurant in Woburn, that's for sure.

                    edit: Just read the globe article and it explains the octopus. That is pretty cool. I knew it was boiled or steamed somehow but that is sophisticated. My second favorite method is Turkish grilling, but this handily beats most Japanese preps I have seen.

                    1. re: tatsu
                      opinionatedchef Jan 23, 2014 07:01 PM

                      prob no one else gives a hoot, but the Pinxto Pincho chef, Joachin, is a primary example of my belief that the chef that shares a recipe is a real chef at heart. And Joachin will just automatically walk you through every step of a dish that you admire. His dishes have certainly rekindled my interest in Spanish cooking.

              2. opinionatedchef Jan 16, 2014 12:30 AM

                We had our 2nd trip there tonight. So funny- I had been dreaming about the shrimp and raw salmon on bread, but they didn't have it cuz they couldn't get the quality of norwegian salmon they wanted for it. sigh. But we had so many good things! And I am most happy to report that they were very busy on a Wed. night. Yay.

                Wow, those Berkshire Pork skewers- who knew pork could have that much flavor w/ just a spice coating. And we finally got the Potato and Onion Tortilla (frittata really) which everyone had raved. I didn't order it the 1st visit because i have had too many boring tortillas. But THIS one, THIS one, holy shmoly, you just have to try it. The creaminess of the potatoes and the caramelized onions....
                This is my new benchmark for a very simple dish (only 3 ingredients) that can be amazingly sublime if done right.
                We tried all 4 of the croquetas and all were perfectly fried and very flavorful. I love the tomato pimenton sauce he serves w/ them. I could (and did!) slather that on everything. The octopus was sooo tender, again, almost sushi like. And boy does he have a way with shrimp--so sweet and moist. I was surprised that the flan was disappointing, not rich enough, but I brought home a few orders of my beloved Almond crema, so no complaints here!

                BTW, they have expanded their offerings even further so that was a real treat. They told me they want it to be a place where, every time you go, you will see new things.
                Great time. easy street parking. such nice people.

                Oh, they said that, after 2 anonymous visits and a long phone interview today, they will be photographed tomorrow for a Globe (iirc) piece. (Is there an Ellen who reviews for the Globe? I only know Devra's name.)

                6 Replies
                1. re: opinionatedchef
                  c
                  chompie Jan 17, 2014 01:34 PM

                  Opinionatedchef, or anyone who feels inclined to take on a boring assignment that may go against your taste inclinations... but I would love a list of recs for a first visit to this place, that would include some subtle deliciousness but minus spicy/pepper, wine and meat... Seafood is fine.. And hopefully on the less expensive side. Hoping that potato/onion tortilla fits in there, cuz it sounds great..

                  1. re: chompie
                    opinionatedchef Jan 17, 2014 06:41 PM

                    o.k. chomps, i just cut and pasted favs from our 2 dinners there. basically, the chef, joachin, has a wonderful touch with seafood and veggies. I've actually not had anything 'meh' there except the flan, strangely enough.

                    Favs:
                    --Empanada Gallega- a thin flat pie filled with tuna, capers, olives... A beautiful subtle rendition of this dish.(I'm special ordering a half sheet pan of it for Xmas day! <rubbing hands together>

                    --Crostini topped w/ house cured salmon and shrimp (I had to have seconds of this, but next time i might just order a whole platter for myself :}
                    --Gallician Octopus in pimenton garlic oil - it did not go unnoticed that this was a VERY generous serving of (very tender) pulpo. $9 instead of the $14 and up we have experienced elsewhere. Once I added my usual lemon, it was excellent.
                    --Croquetas de verduras- creamy potato and kale

                    --Red Sangria -Since we have had too many awful sangrias in the U.S., that were too sweet,
                    we always get a taste before ordering. When I told our lovely server/owner that it was too sweet for me, she said she'd get them to leave out the sprite?(icr) and we ended up really enjoying our 3 glasses.

                    -- Natillas de Almendres- I would drive through a snowstorm for this dessert! Jimminy. And the kicker is- the chef invented it. He said I won't find it anywhere. And when he explained the process, it was way more complex than i would have thought. All made on the stove, not baked. Anyway, it is made with cream, almonds, sugar, eggs, cinnamon , and it has the consistency of a pureed rice pudding. OMG. I had to have two. Como No?

                    And we finally got the Potato and Onion Tortilla (frittata really) which everyone had raved. I didn't order it the 1st visit because i have had too many boring tortillas. But THIS one, THIS one, holy shmoly, you just have to try it. The creaminess of the potatoes and the caramelized onions....
                    This is my new benchmark for a very simple dish (only 3 ingredients) that can be amazingly sublime if done right.

                    Anything seafood really- octopus, squid, shrimp, salmon- all lovely. Whether sauteed in garlic oil or made into croquettes(i prefer their croquettas over their empanaditas.)-- all beautiful.

                    -Paella w/ seafood

                    And chomps, there are almost no dishes that are spicy on their own. They're really mostly working with evoo and garlic, and dulce/sweet pimenton/smoked paprika. The tomato pimenton condiment is always a dab off to the side on the plates and i don't think you will call it spicy, but even if you do, it's just optional (don't worry, I'll eat yours!) Oh, interesting, their bread is from A and J in Salem. excellent.

                    1. re: opinionatedchef
                      c
                      chompie Jan 18, 2014 08:20 PM

                      thanks so much! didn't realize there would be so many unspicy choices ! thanks so much! Last time I had tapas, years ago my fav was the garlic shrimp.. I think it was at Dalis... and many years ago I had such good garlic soup at a Spanish place in D.C. that we ordered another bowl instead of dessert!

                      1. re: chompie
                        opinionatedchef Jan 18, 2014 10:00 PM

                        it's funny, it took my growing up to appreciate good soups. Now I think of them as a real indicator of a chef's talents.so i know just what you mean. i haven't yet had the soup at Pinxto Pincho . (Speaking of garlic soup, I had your 'I'll have another' garlic soup at Grotto a few yrs ago. Might still be on the menu.)

                        1. re: opinionatedchef
                          c
                          chompie Jan 20, 2014 07:24 PM

                          wow, someone else going for a second garlic soup! My stepmother and I once did the soup redo for dessert in Turkey and they were so freaked and couldn't all stop pointing and looking at the crazy Americans asking for another soup after the meal!

                      2. re: opinionatedchef
                        StriperGuy Jan 19, 2014 12:01 AM

                        Pretty much as a rule (patatas bravas the only exception I can think of) Spanish food is not spicy.

                  2. b
                    Bluebell Jan 14, 2014 06:27 PM

                    We headed there tonight for an anniversary dinner, and were extremely happy with both the food & service. Our waiter was very helpful and happy to suggest things. They brought us a complimentary pincho & when we explained we didn't eat shrimp, they brought one with tomato & manchego and a second with ensaladilla russa. We tried the sherry and a number of tapas. The tortilla was excellent & we also liked the croqueta baccalao. Interesting Spanish wines and a few sherries as well. No patatas bravas yet, but soon. A great addition to the area!

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Bluebell
                      opinionatedchef Jan 14, 2014 10:58 PM

                      Happy anniv, blue, so glad you liked it! i've been having a major craving for the shrimp and salmon boccarones. hope to get back soon. i hope he'll add a good romesco in the near future.

                    2. opinionatedchef Dec 19, 2013 12:19 AM

                      Wow! Can you imagine? Woburn actually has a good restaurant! Not just an o.k. restnt but a GOOD restaurant. HooRAH. I am so psyched!
                      Two doors to the right of Tre Monte, Pintxo Pincho is a low lit room of earth tones , with high top rustic wood tables and stools and a bar close to the kitchen. As in Spain, a display of 10 or 12 cold tapas is behind glass at the front of the bar. We were warmly greeted and served by the owner and his wife (from Galicia and Argentina, respectively) as we proceeded to taste our way through much of a pretty long list of tapas.
                      (Chomps, neither of us had eaten today before this visit so we were hungry enough to do this!, but i also probly eat more than most CHs so i can't advise you on quantity.) We ended up with 2 pinchos(one comes free w/ your beverage), 7 tapas plates, 1 paella, and 2 desserts, 3 glasses of sangria, 2 complementary sherries, for about $100 before tax and tip.

                      Favs:
                      --Empanada Gallega- a thin flat pie filled with tuna, capers, olives... A beautiful subtle rendition of this dish.(I'm special ordering a half sheet pan of it for Xmas day! <rubbing hands together>

                      --Crostini topped w/ house cured salmon over shrimp (I had to have seconds of this, but next time i might just order a whole platter for myself :}
                      --Gallician Octopus in pimenton garlic oil - it did not go unnoticed that this was a VERY generous serving of (very tender) pulpo. $9 instead of the $14 and up we have experienced elsewhere. Once I added my usual lemon, it was excellent.
                      --Croquetas de puchero- creamy beef and potato

                      --Red Sangria -Since we have had too many awful sangrias in the U.S., that were too sweet,
                      we always get a taste before ordering. When I told our lovely server/owner that it was too sweet for me, she said she'd get them to leave out the sprite?(icr) and we ended up really enjoying our 3 glasses.

                      -- Natillas de Almendres- I would drive through a snowstorm for this dessert! Jimminy. And the kicker is- the chef invented it. He said I won't find it anywhere. And when he explained the process, it was way more complex than i would have thought. All made on the stove, not baked. Anyway, it is made with cream, almonds, sugar, eggs, cinnamon , and it has the consistency of a pureed rice pudding. OMG. I had to have two. Como No?

                      Amontillado Sherry- What a lovely way to warm up before tackling those snow banks.
                      -----------------------
                      Very Good:
                      -empanadilla filled w/spinach, zucchini and cheese

                      -house cured chorizo (not on the menu)

                      Good:
                      -Rabbit in almond sauce- promising but this needed wine and more garlic

                      -Paella Mixta w/ seafood and chicken- Rice was cooked properly and the shrimp was particularly luscious (served whole/head on) but imo it was just not as satisfying (swoon-worthy really) as Toro's, and the chicken was dry. I overheard Chef Joaquin (from Malaga) explain to another table that he will happily provide the crunchy bottom crust on request, but he normally doesn't because he's had too many customers, over the years, complain about 'burnt'. (Uh, that was me squirming, because of me complaining once on CH about this very thing once at Toro. But i still maintain that mine was too burnt that one time.) They also offer a rabbit paella and a seafood paella.
                      --------------------------

                      Next time, we'll skip the paella and try more tapas(there are 23 different tapas and pinchos on this menu) including the lamb chops w/ chimichurri; the acclaimed omelet;
                      Berkshire Pork Kebabs, other croquetas incl. Salmon, Blood Sausage, Bacalao, Potatoes w/leek and kale; Quail legs in garlic oil, flan.........And he does Daily Special Tapas as well. btw, they are big into sourcing local and organic.

                      Wow, this is exciting. And what nice people. Couldn't make you feel more welcome if you were in their own living room.

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: opinionatedchef
                        opinionatedchef Jan 6, 2014 12:09 AM

                        well, the Globe had a few paragraphs about this place today and they even quoted this thread. Terrif.!

                        chompie, you going soon, now that we're past this recent spate of single digits?

                        1. re: opinionatedchef
                          mcel215 Jan 6, 2014 03:08 AM

                          I was going to get take out from them and I called them last weekend, to ask if they do take-out. They said they are not set up for it yet, nor do they have a paper menu that I could have. The man on the phone was very sweet and said they were willing to give me one of their regular ones if I cared to stop by. (I didn't want to go myself, as I like to share tapas).

                          I told him that I would give the place a try soon and wished them a Happy New Year.

                          I'll plan on getting there soon. This winter's been a tough one, weather wise.

                          www.saffron215.blogspot.com

                          1. re: opinionatedchef
                            c
                            chompie Jan 9, 2014 09:49 PM

                            hope to! although my recent spate of car probs is whats keeping me even more than the digits.. You probably noticed that I started a thread concerning attempts to dine in these weather conditions!

                          2. re: opinionatedchef
                            k
                            Kunegunde Jan 8, 2014 09:02 PM

                            Went here last night with a group of six after work. Maybe because of the bitter cold, it was only half-full, and they gave us several complimentary plates along with the ones we ordered. Agree that the service is warm and friendly.

                            Got the less-sweet sangria too (good tip, OC). All the dishes were fresh and good: paella, croquetas, empanadas/empanadillas. Things with shrimp and salmon also good. The potato/kale one was a particular favorite. I would have liked to put some hot sauce on the octopus but that was my only quibble.

                            We didn't get to any desserts or sherry last night. That will be for next time.

                          3. r
                            rich patina Dec 12, 2013 01:12 PM

                            drove by this morning- hand written sign on door said "we are open"

                            7 Replies
                            1. re: rich patina
                              c
                              chompie Dec 13, 2013 09:56 PM

                              pintxo pincho tapas bar... according to my google search. Could only find it on Yelp but the two reviewers were very thrilled... let us know!

                              1. re: chompie
                                opinionatedchef Dec 14, 2013 12:37 AM

                                ooh, good hounding, chomp! maybe we'll go soon, since it's so close to us.

                                1. re: opinionatedchef
                                  c
                                  chompie Dec 16, 2013 11:14 PM

                                  I knew you'd be the first to jump on board! sounded right up your alley.. Looking forward to hearing the verdict..

                                2. re: chompie
                                  m
                                  maestrette Dec 14, 2013 02:27 PM

                                  We can't wait to try it. We've been craving tapas since we moved to the north shore last year.

                                  1. re: maestrette
                                    j
                                    johndory Dec 18, 2013 07:36 PM

                                    I had a delicious dinner at Pintxo Pincho tonight. (In the interest of full disclosure, I'll note that I know the chef, but I wouldn't recommend it here unless I thought it was worth recommending.)

                                    The menu is divided into different sections: a few pinchos for $3 each (and one free with a beer or wine order); numerous tapas; a soup; paella; and desert.

                                    We tried, and really, really liked, all of the pinchos: spanish omelet (so good we ordered two), manchego with fresh anchovy, potato salad, and a pepper/tomato sauce on french bread.

                                    All of the tapas we tried were also very good. Standouts included the croquetas, empanadillas de verdura (zucchini, spinach, and cheese turnover), pinchito moruno, and chicken with leeks and garlic. Most of the tapas are in the $5-9 range, with many at $5 or $6. The flan ($5) was excellent.

                                    They have a few craft beers on tap and a handful of Spanish wines.

                                    My meal, and the vibe of the place, reminded me of the tapas bars I've visited in Spain.

                                    I'm looking forward to hearing what others have to say.

                                    1. re: johndory
                                      c
                                      chompie Dec 18, 2013 10:34 PM

                                      sounds great! Do they have the menu online? couldn't find a website or anything...Just wondering about how many tapas one might eat at a sitting.. been a long time since I have had tapas

                                      1. re: chompie
                                        j
                                        johndory Dec 19, 2013 06:30 PM

                                        I also was unable to find an online menu. As for the number of tapas you could expect to try, my wife and I arrived hungry, shared 4 pinchos, 5 tapas, 1 dessert, and left sated (which is not to say that I couldn't have tried a few more things . . .).

                              2. Ferrari328 Dec 11, 2013 05:52 AM

                                It's to the right of Tre Monte and Yes, the sign is there. A tapas bar in Woburn? What's next, a real mexican place?

                                http://thedailylunch-woburn.blogspot....

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: Ferrari328
                                  opinionatedchef Dec 11, 2013 12:55 PM

                                  wouldn't it be just dandy if something really worthwhile came to Woburn?

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