Authentic, Spanish-style tapas are really the epitome of little bites, and I’m always looking for the best new place to get them.
This weekend, perhaps the first honest days of summer, I stopped by a new Tapas restaurant on Newbury Street for lunch with a wonderful friend.
Tapas are perfect for a light lunch, for trying new things, for sharing. Because tapas means small Spanish dishes, usually served with a drink, it’s the perfect style of eating for delicious little bites. Order a few plates, split them with people you love, and try a variety of new flavors all while sipping on some delicious sangria.
What’s got me sold on Tapeo is it’s wonderful location and open patio for al fresco dining. Find it at 266 Newbury St., right in the heart of Boston’s Back Bay. While the traditional Spanish-style interior bar is beautiful, it’s the ability to dine in the open air that puts Tapeo at the top of my list of favorite Tapas restaurants of all time. http://tapeo.com
Recommended Dishes: Lots of specials and a wide variety of vegetarian options made it difficult to pick just two tapas. The Ensalada Mixta, with mixed greens, beets, hearts of palm and mandarin orange is a great fresh start to your meal. The sautéed portobello mushrooms served as my “main dish,” and were a juicy, delicious and filling course. Put the Ensalada Mixta’s vinaigrette on the side to keep things light.
The Not-So-Good Bite: As is often the case at tapas-style restaurants, there is a minimum order of two tapas per person. Given the mid-price range, this is not the cheapest option. However, the tapas are the perfect size to fill you up, and when you bring a friend or two along for the bite, you won’t need much more to satisfy that mid-day meal.
The Good Bite: In addition to a number of vegetarian options on the permanent menu, Tapeo has a number of new specials every six weeks, keeping the menu fun and unexpected. One of my friend’s selections came from this temporary menu – a special Ensalada with corn, asparagus, green beans and grape tomatoes.
The Best Bite: Tapeo’s tapas-style menu is serving up the right-sized plates, and keeping things fresh and traditional. As I mentioned, tapas are fun for sharing, and for trying new things. Because of this, it’s a great place for friends, because there are vegetarian options, vegan options, gluten and grain-free selections, and a whole slew of meat-based dishes to please even the biggest carnivore. Hearty, honest cooking and authentic European flavors are guaranteed to please everyone around the table.
Pair your meal with a glass of sweet berry sangria and indulge for the day on the patio. Enjoy good food, good company, and a moment of relaxation. My mother told me a story recently about a perfect day, in which her sister reminded her to stop, look around her, and remember everything as it was. Because no matter what, time is short, and never predictable, and that moment will never look the same again.
So if you’re strolling down Newbury and have time to spare for a little bite, call up a friend to join you for an afternoon out. It’s never too early in the day to begin winding down and savoring the moments in which everything is right, and every bite is as it should be.
No matter what, I’m always going to keep searching for that perfect little bite, because there are so many wonderful tastes out there to try.