Sunday, July 14, 2013

A Preview of Taberna de Haro

          Sometimes in my quest to explore as many new restaurants as possible, I don't make it back to the places I've visited and loved. Until recently, Taberna de Haro in Brookline was one of those places. Taberna de Haro was my first introduction to Spanish tapas about five years ago, when I tried it with a friend who'd lived in Spain briefly and swore it was the most authentic Spanish restaurant in Boston. The dining room was small and cosy, the wine selection excellent (and affordable) and the food delicious! I don't remember everything we tried, but the Spanish ham and bechamel croquettes and tortilla were amazing became the standard by which I compare all others. I'd always meant to go back, and was psyched to receive an invite to a special party celebrating the one year anniversary of their recent expansion (the restaurant's15th anniversary is coming up soon)!

          The event took place in the beautiful new dining room, complete with a full bar. Chef-Owner Deborah Hansen (our host for the evening) greeted each of us personally and chatted about her restaurant and food while we enjoyed a welcome cocktail from the new bartender, Devon Burroughs.

La Cola Nostra: Averna, Rhum JM, lime juice, and house-made pimento dram topped with cava

          We also sampled some passed hors d'ouvres including pinxto de gamba picante (large spicy skewered shrimp) and the croquetas de jamon (ham and bechamel croquettes). Both were delicious, and the croquettes were just as good as I remembered!

          Next we sat down for some more tapas paired with wines and sherries, and I learned that Chef Deborah trained as a sommelier in Spain and hand selects all 320 bottles of wine and 45 sherries on the restaurant's extensive wine list.We started with the bienmesabe (marinated haddock) paired with Fino Tio Pepe, a chilled dry sherry. The fish was light and flaky, and the flavor of the fresh lemon went especially well with the sherry.

          We also tried the pan tumaquet, toasted tomato bread with garlic and either jamon, or a marinated anchovy. I tried a little of each, and was surprised at how much I enjoyed the anchovy, which isn't something I'd normally order!

          Unfortunately I had another commitment the same night and wasn't able to stay for the rest of the pairings. But after everything I tried and meeting Deborah, I can't wait to go back for dinner and get the full experience! Taberna de Haro is now at the top of my list to go ASAP, so stay tuned for a more in depth review soon with even more pics!

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