Superb Tapas and Wine at Taberna de Haro in Boston
999 Beacon St
Brookline, MA 02446
I am almost reluctant to blog about Taberna de Haro since I still consider it to be a hidden gem. But it is too good to not blog about. If you consider yourself at all a foodie or actually, simply enjoy good food you must experience the food, wine and ambiance there. It is located in Boston (Brookline) on Beacon St in Kenmore Square. It is a small place. Seats 38 people with extra spots on the patio in the warmer months. Its size is part of its charm. It isn’t pretentious or overdone. The atmosphere is intimate and jovial.
We (my husband and I) tend to order our “usuals” with one or two new dishes, not because we don’t like new things but rather the “usuals” are so good we can’t imagine not getting them! However, when we were there a couple weekends ago we were in a mood for new flavors and I am so glad we were. It was one of the best meals we have had there which is saying a lot! I think the experience was enhanced by the sheer fact that our selections were new delicious discoveries that even complemented each other well – the stars aligned. We ordered Mejillones en salsa romescu (Mussels in almond, tomato and garlic sauce), Duck confit with salad on toast, Habas con jamon (Lima beans sautéed with Spanish Ham), Coca de cebolla y aceitunas (Carmalized onion and olive flatbread) and Surtido de quesos (Five cheeses imported from Spain). Everything was new to us save the lima bean dish, which is one of my all time favorites. Some of our other favorites include the sautéed spinach with garlic, pine nuts and golden raisins (which we get without the raisins), the tapas standard of shrimp with garlic and olive oil, codfish balls (they remind me of growing up in Macau), fried calamari and grilled rib-eye.
The wine list is extensive and very reasonably priced. They decant some wines at the table. If you can splurge on wine a bit ($80), I strongly recommend the Prado Enea Gran Reserva 1998 R(Bodegas Muga, D.O.Ca. Rioja, Haro). We had it with the meal I described earlier and it was really amazing. It complemented our food perfectly. As a testament to their commitment to a quality experience, let me share that one evening after selecting a wine recommended by Chef-owner, Deborah Hansen they informed us that the wine we wanted was a little cool and that they were going to decant it to help it warm up before they served it to us. In the meantime, Deborah offered us some lovely sherry to sip on while we waited. A wonderful treat.
Continuing to feed our appetite for new things that evening, we opted to skip the nice desserts and cheese plates at Taberna de Haro in favor of trying the French bakery 2 doors down. The name of the place escapes me (making a mental note to take better notice of such details in the future) but it is literally a couple doors to the left of Taberno de Haro as you leave the restaurant. The bakery front is small, bright and welcoming. It actually has a feel much like it could have been in St. Helena in Napa Valley. A little modern yet accented with old world pieces. They have 3 tables with a few chairs to sit and enjoy something tasty by their large windows overlooking Beacon St, which is what we did. They serve the expected full range of coffee beverages and an interesting array of sweets ranging from butter cookies with fillings like nutella to lush cakes. We spent a few minutes just looking around before making our selection – a buttery shortbread tart filled with toasted almonds which was remarkable to go with our coffees. I am actually thinking about replacing a homemade dessert for our Christmas Eve dinner this year with that almond yumminess!
We had a lovely evening out but at that point had to get home to relive our babysitter. I hope you get a chance to visit Taberna de Haro, and even the french bakery sometime soon.
If you plan to make the trip there, here are a few helpful tips:
– They do not take reservations but you can call-ahead (even days ahead) to have your name put on a list for a shorter wait once you arrive.
– If you are driving, you’ll have to park on the street. Sometimes you get lucky if your timing is right and you’ll get a spot right away as we did last time. But often you’ll have to circle around to find a spot. So give yourself some extra time in particular on a weekend night or when there is a game at Fenway. If you are taking the T, they are at the St Mary’s stop on the Green line, C train.
If you go, let me know what you think!
– Not sure what tapas are? Check out Wikipedia