Tapas Top 1

Favorites from the past 20 years…

calamares rellenos ~ stuffed squid in cocoa-almond-hazelnut sauce 16

piquillos ~ piquillo peppers stuffed w oxtail, reduction sauce 18

pescado entero ~  whole roasted fish of the day  26

albóndigasClassic Madrid meatballs w veal, pork, & (River Rock) beef 18

coca ~ Catalán flatbread w onion & arbequina olives 12

txistorra y brandada ~ Basque chorizo & salt cod-potato-olive oil puré 10

paella ~ today’s paella  36

cordero al chilindrón ~ slow-braised 3 pepper lamb 15

magret de pato ~ roasted duck breast with PX vinegar reduction   26

Something new…

huevos rellenos ~ deviled eggs w jamón ibérico, lemon mayo, guindilla  8

tortilla española  ~ mini tortilla made to order 10

ostras ~ 6 raw oysters with limón granizado 18  (12 for 35)

ensalada y buñuelos ~ Brookline lettuces (GLG) with smoked sheep cheese fritters, pickled onion, caper berry  12

espinacas y garbanzos ~ Andalusian-spiced spinach & garbanzos   10

The cookbook special

One or two recipes per week being tested for the Taberna de Haro cookbook!

De la Tierra  ~  Pasture  

croquetas de jamón ~ ham & bechamel croquettes (3) 8.75

tapa de mollejas ~ veal sweetbreads w golden garlic & brandy 10

jamón ibérico  ~ cured Spanish ham from acorn-fed black-hoofed pigs  26

tabla de ibéricos con p’amb tumaquetCured Iberian meat board (chorizo, salchichón & lomo), aged sheep cheese, Catalán tomato toast  32

chuletas de cordero ~ grilled lamb chops (3), garlic-vinegar fries  24

pollo asado ~ brick oven-roasted free-range chicken, french fries  24

pollo al ajillo ~ garlic-brandy chicken, salad 19 

pinchos morunos ~ Moorish-spiced pork skewers  14

chorizo a la sidra ~ hard cider-braised chorizo 15

filete con cabrales ~ mini blade steak w sidra-blue cheese, fries 14

Del Agua  ~  Water

albondigas de bacalao ~ saffron salt cod balls (4) 8.5

sepia a la plancha ~ griddled cuttlefish with black allioli 14

bienmesabe ~ marinated fried haddock pieces 15

gambas al ajillo ~ spicy garlic shrimp 17

pulpo a la gallega  ~ octopus w Spanish EVOO, pimentón, potato  18

matrimonio ~ white & brown anchovies, olives, EVOO 14

ancas de rana ~ frogs legs w lemon, brandy & golden garlic  14

almejas con chorizo ~ local clams sautéed w spicy chorizo 17

arroz negro ~ black paella with squid & cuttlefish  35

De la Huerta y la Granja  ~  Garden & Farm

queso de cabra ~ big warm goat cheese toast w oregano & EVOO  6

ensalada mixta ~ Spanish mixed salad, sherry vinaigrette 10

pimientos rojos asados con atún ~ roasted red peppers w tuna, onion, tomato, white asparagus, Rioja vinaigrette  12

surtido de quesos ~ 5 cheeses from Spain,quince, marcona almonds 16

setas a la plancha con huevo de pato ~  griddled wild mushrooms (Rhode Island) w a fried duck egg 16

patatas bravas ~ fried potato cubes w feisty sauce, allioli  9

alcachofas con jamón ~ sautéed artichoke hearts, jamón ibérico, garlic 12

acelgas a la catalana ~ swiss chard sautéed with garlic, pine nuts, golden raisins 10

berengena con mató ~ griddled eggplant w house-made fresh cheese, saffron honey 11

Accompañimientos ~ Accompaniments  4

aceite de oliva ~ organic Spanish olive oil

aceitunas ~ Spanish olives, dressed

salsas de la casa ~ brava sauce & allioli

p’amb tumaquet ~ Catalán tomato toast (2)

tapita especial ~ today’s special little tapa

(By law we must inform you that eating raw or undercooked animal products can cause food-born illness)





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Will she ever stop talking about sherry???

My all-Spanish wine list now has 325 wines.  75 of them are sherry and manzanilla.

Sherry is either utter miracle or pure science,  depending on your faith.  I've been to Jerez 6 times in the past 4 years, and I'm more enchanted then ever - and more convinced Sherry is both.  Old, wizened  Jerezanos explain the yeasty process to me, and I believe in miracles.  Then the young blood of the zone, dynamic and bi-lingual all of them, explain the details to me, and I fully grasp the science.  And when they plunge their venencias into a barrel, breaking the layer of flor with a pleasant little pop, and deftly pour me a glass of young fino or venerable palo cortado, I'm just a plain believer in all things wondrous.

Back in Brookline, I love turning inquisitive customers into believers.  Sherry is artisanal, delicious, unique, and soul-satisfying.  Let me choose one for you, maybe a fresh manzanilla from Javier Hidalgo called La Gitana (named after a gypsy barkeep who favored this particular manzanilla above all others, and who's portrait hangs in timeless beauty in the winery in Sanlucar) or the brand new Aurora which breathes a lovely floral note into all its seaside brine.  You'll be finished with your 2 oz pour in no time, and if I think you are ready, I'll try you on the Pastrana, or the Juan Cuevas Jurado,  manzanilla pasadas both, whose fresh and briny flavors inherent in manzanilla now wax a little brassy, have deeper chamomile and olive notes, and profound complexity.  Smooth and charming, with lots of tang and secrets.  Manzanilla pasada is made by starving the flor that forms atop finos and manzanillas, those completely dry and clear sherries we enjoy before a meal, and increasingly during the meal.  Flor requires fresh new wine to sustain itself, in addition to oxygen,  65% humidity in the winery, and temperatures in the low 70's.  So to make manzanilla pasada, the winemaker simply stops adding new wine to the barrels, and over time, the protective layer of flor dissipates off the surface of the wine and allows for an exchange of oxygen heretofore impossible.  The result is sublime, especially when made by someone whose family has been perfecting the art for 300 years!  Try some with our bienmesabe -"tastes good to me"- marinated fried haddock.

Emilio Lustau has been making outstanding sherry since 1896, and their line is enormous.  A trusted brand, they are not afraid to experiment with their customers' taste.  Recently they bottled three unfiltered sherries, a delicious if risky proposition, as unfiltered wines can be delicate.  Called 3 en Rama, the three biologically-aged sherries in the line are available in minuscule  amounts.  They are testing our resolve!  The manzanilla is, by definition from Sanlucar de Barrameda, and has all the vibrant sea-spray aromas we love in manzanilla, but with an unreal smoothness in the mouth, and a note of raw cashew. Are you ready for this with your jamón serrano or your olives?   Lustau makes two different finos, one from El Puerto de Santa Maria, called Fino El Puerto  and one from Jerez itself, called Fino Jarana, so the 3 en Rama line includes unfiltered versions of both of these bright and full-bodied finos.  The Fino Puerto Fino en Rama is briny and nervy, with the aromas of the sand inside a mussel shell.  Fat olives in the mouth, pure naked pleasure in your brain.  Finally, the Fino en Rama Fino is alive with oyster and mignonette flavors, and the minerality is such I am thinking of my finest Chablis experiences.  Are you ready for all of this sensuality with your jamón or anchovy on tomato toast with lots of good Spanish olive oil?  Or your  artichokes sauteed with garlic?  I bet you are!

 I picked up another treasure this week, also rare and exclusive.  A couple of years back I had the pleasure of meeting Antonio Barbadillo, a man who soothed his gums with manzanilla as a baby and grew up discussing which stocks of manzanillas were the best in Sanlucar.  He has most recently selected for our pleasured drinking manzanillas from old, treasured stocks around town, and bottled them every 3 months, showcasing each season.  The flor changes with the seasons as it is highly sensitive to temperature fluctuation, so the wine beneath it is slightly altered ed as a consequence.  The differences are subtle, but the eager palate can indeed feel the difference between the Sacristia AB Primera Saca (bottling, after the verb sacar which means to take out in Spanish) in May of 2012, with its sexy, leesy, buttery funk, and the Sacristia AB Segunda Saca in October of 2012 which smacked more of chamomile, birch, and the toasted acorns I'm sure our hunter-gatherer forebears made. (Mine did anyway).  The charming and passionate Antonio chose the word Sacristia  for his manzanillas because the sacristia is the place in a church where the most special things are kept.  So, too, in a sherry bodega.  The oldest and rarest barrels are held in the most perfect part of the bodega, called the sacristia. The sepia a la plancha - griddled sepia - with its little squeeze of black allioli on top, is the perfect pair for the Sacristia AB Segunda Saca I am now proud to serve you.  

Finally, when your sweet tooth gets demanding, there is the Gonzalez Byass Oloroso Dulce Matusalem VORS.  This 30+ year old sherry is just the right amount of sweet, with balncing notes of bitter orange and toasted hazelnuts.  It is divine on its own, beautiful with our 5 imported cheese plate, or with a perfectly caramelized flan.  The complexity washes over you in waves regardless of what you choose.  For a bright golden sweet experience, try the Muscatel Dorado by Cesar Florido, and be astounded how complex a moscatel can be after it passes through the unique solar system.

Come drink some sherry with us!  

(See the blog "The Aperitivo Movement" for more explanation on how sherry is made, for example, the use of the solera system).

Last week I invested in gold, the safest of gambles in uncertain times.  It is far more satisfying than an ingot, my gold, and it delights the senses like a cold metal never could.  I can actually share with with you my liquid gold, made by  R. Lopez de Heredia in Haro, Rioja, Spain.  This venerable winery released a few cases of the precious 1991 Viña Tondonia Gran Reserva Blanco, surely one of the world's greatest white wines.  Grapes from the famous Tondonia vineyard - viura (90%) and malvasia (10%) - were vinified traditionally and then lovingly raised in old American oak barrels for 8 years.  The wine has been resting and evolving in the bottle for over a decade now, and it is simply gorgeous.  Redolent of warm hay, Seville oranges, marzipan, bread dough, lanolin, and seckel pear, the wine has you crazy in love even before the first kiss.  The mouth feel is rich and soft, but powerfully vibrant.  Lemony notes of acidity and mellow notes of chamomile intertwine with savory hints of salt marsh grass, macadamia nuts, tart apple sauce, tangerine, and honeycomb.  Unreal, really.  I love this regal wine with our humble croquetas de jamón (ham & bechamel croquettes) as well as our so-savory arroz negro (black paella).

Yet another cava on the list, yet another beauty by Raventos i Blanc!

Raventos i Blanc Gran Reserva 2007 joined my cava list last week, bringing the total to 16 cavas on Taberna de Haro's list. The third generation winery Raventos i Blanc already graced my wine list with its unique "Nin Rosat 2009", an elegant cava tinted the palest of salmon by the monastrell grape; and the "Reserva Brut 2009" a classic cava, made from xarel-lo, macabeu, and parellada grapes grown in calcareous clay soils near a forest.  The latest bubbly beauty, the Gran Reserva, is as elegant as can be, with the lilting acidity of champagne and the rocky underpinning that only the finest of cavas show.  We are so ready for the holidays!