Over two months ago now (yikes!), my mom took me out to La Boqueria in Soho for my birthday dinner. Choosing a birthday dinner spot can be stressful, but thankfully the bargain-hunter inside of me made it easy. I had aÂ BlackBoardEats code that was going to expire that day and I simply could not let a 30% discount go to waste, so La Boqueria it was.
Luckily this Spanish tapas restaurant was right up our alley and we were seated at the bar overlooking the kitchen (a very cool spot if you’re dining with just one person). We both started with some white sangria (I love red wine but for some reason I just can’t handle red sangria) and began perusing the tapas menu and the lengthy specials menu.
Those poor souls who have dined with me before will not find it at all surprising that the tapas selection took about 25 minutes. We went over every item several times to put together our dinner menu and naturally I needed to ask about 15 questions…the big decision of the night was paella or no paella. Ultimately we decided against the paella and I left a lot of the decision making up to our patient waitress by asking “What do you recommend/like best?” (Yes, I am that girl. But hey, I rarely suffer from food envy).
This is what we ended up with:
- Pinxtos Morunos – seared lamb marinated in lemon and cumin with a salsa verde ($8)
- Espinacas a la Catalana – sauteed spinach, chickpeas, pine nuts, garlic and raisins ($7)
- Croquettes (eeks! I forget the filling. These were from the specials menu. Price unknown)
- Coca de Ajetes – flatbread of grilled ramps, rosemary manchego, tomato, sheep’s milk cheese and aleppo pepper ($14)
- Huevo y Pisto – farm egg, “pisto” of spring vegetables, almond “romesco,” crispy potato and garlic al i oli ($13)
This was excellent, albeit it a little raw. We could have easily gone for a second round of this one.
Espinacas a la Catalana
Without a doubt this was one of our absolute favorites. We were tentative to order it since on one hand it seemed a little traditional – a sauteed spinach side – but the chickpeas and raisins in particular intrigued us. Our waitress recommended it so we trusted her opinion (See? It helps!) and we couldn’t get over how well the flavors and textures blended together. I know it sounds simple but if you like any and all of the ingredients involved, I highly urge you to order this if you go. You will not be disappointed!
It seems fitting that I don’t remember the filling because I found them to be unmemorable. Good? Yes, but I’ve had good croquettes before. Next time I’ll try something else off the menu.
Coca de Ajetes
This version of a flatbread pizza was good but not amazing. We wanted to try grilled ramps (a seasonal vegetable) and we definitely liked it, but we weren’t bowled over. I’d say this earned a solid B+.
Again, another dish that we tried due to our waitress’s input and we’re so glad we listened to her! This was hands down one of the most unique and delicious dishes I’ve had in a while. Again, I thought this was going to be a relatively basic (read: boring) salad of sorts, but I was delightfully wrong. Pisto is similar to a ratatouille, which I always enjoy, but the matchstick-thin, lightly fried potatoes added such a great crunch and texture to the dish and the garlic al i oli added another layer to the flavor. But the true star of the dish was the farm egg on top. I know, it may sound a little strange at first but after trying it you realize how absolutely perfect it is for the dish. I really can’t describe it in words, but I loved it (Can you tell?)!
With some drinks, five tapas and a 30% discount, our bill came out to under $70 with tip. Not to bad considering the quality of food and the reason for dining out – my birthday!