A long while back now, Hubba Hubby and I were wandering around SoHo and feeling peckish, but on the late side of the night. Recognizing where we were, I suggested Boqueria if there was no wait – and there wasn’t. We quickly scored seats at the bar in the back that faced into the open kitchen, nice! I love watching the kitchen buzz and work, though it was really warm sitting back there.
Hubba Hubby got super excited when he saw jamon iberico on the menu and insisted we order it. It was not cheap — I don’t recall the exact price*, but I was mildly horrified — but those thin slices of meat melted like so much butter in our mouths, punctuated with a meaty aftertaste that only black footed pigs who feed on special acorns could possibly boast. I can’t lie – I thoroughly enjoyed this platter – but call my tastes pedestrian, I think I’d enjoy jamon serrano just as much, for far less money.
Okay, maybe not. But I’d love to do a side by side taste test to make sure 😉
*The current menu says they charge $32 for 1 ounce hand-sliced jamon iberico.
Next up: patatas bravas, or fried potatoes drizzled heavily with aioli. Expertly fried with a crisp, hot exterior and a creamy interior, I really, really enjoyed these- and the heady, rich salsa brava underneath was a perfect complement. I gobbled up the lion’s share of these; I can’t get enough potatoes.
Albondigas or lamb meatballs… we both thought these were OK. A nice bite to munch but perhaps not a must-order next time. I enjoyed them enough, I just would prefer to order something else next time to sample more of the menu.
Our last savory dish was not a tapas but a larger plate — porchetta / pork loin wrapped around, blah blah blah, with mustard blah blah blah swiss chard. It was actually a special and so not on the regular menu, but a good thing: the meat was slightly dry, the skin tough to cut through instead of perfectly crispy and crackly, and the saving grace was the mustarda on the bottom but even that couldn’t save it. We ate it to eat it, but had we been hungrier, probably another item would have been ordered.
Finally, churros con chocolat! Chocolate-stuffed extruded pastries, crisp tubes of deep fried dough, one of my favorite sweet endings to a meal. These were perfectly sized, though the portion was a bit excessive, and just the right touch of sweetness to end our meal of snacks. We thoroughly enjoyed our whole meal (and glasses of wine), and left the place feeling sated and happy before heading home to slumber. I definitely recommend a visit if you can get a seat (I’ve walked by and noticed lines out the door in the past!), and will definitely be back at some point to sample more of their lovely menu.
Bonus: there are multiple locations around the city and Brooklyn and even a DC location! You have no excuse not to check one of them out, though we went to the SoHo location.
Side note: sitting facing into the open kitchen as we were, I was very impressed with the efficiency of the small space used and how quickly everyone worked. We watched tray after tray of paella get sent out of the kitchen, and it never took more than 20 minutes from start to finish to create these lovely pans. If we’d been just a little hungrier, I’d have suggested ordering one (minimum order is 2 people) — it was glorious to watch them toast rice and turn it into what I imagine was crisp-edged, creamy-centered delights. Ohhh, that soccarat… drooling slightly.
171 Spring St, New York, NY 10012
Phone: (212) 343-4255
Check website for other locations