Sunday, April 6, 2008

The Bocado Experience

Last night my husband and I went to my very favorite restaurant. Our friends Dave, Karen, and Todd came with us. It was an awesome night!

My favorite restaurant is Bocado in Worcester, MA. Worcester is the closest city to where we live. It’s not a great city, but there are some good restaurants!

Bocado is a tapas restaurant. Tapas is a style of eating from Spain where you order little plates of food. In a tapas restaurant you can try a whole bunch of different tapas and share with everyone. You can also order a main course, but the tapas are so fun! And they offer flights of wine, which are like tapas because you get three small portions of different wines instead of just one larger glass.

So Karen, Todd, and I each got different flights of wine. Karen likes whites. Todd had one white, one semi-red, and one red. Mine were three wonderful dry reds – flight #7, the Rioja New to Old World Flight with these wines:

· Cortijo III Tinto(Tempranillo), Rioja
· Faustino V Riserva (Tempranillo/Mazuelo), Rioja
· Faustino I Gran Riserva (Tempranillo/Mazuelo/Graciano), Rioja

Then, as a group, we decided to get the Bocado Experience for Four. You get to choose four of their cheese or cold meat plates and 10 different tapas dishes. Then you get one pan of their paella, a plate of churros with a chocolate dipping sauce, and their house flan (pomegranate orange custard with fresh fruit). The Bocado Experience for four costs $125.00 and is worth every penny!

So, here are the plates we chose for the cheese and cold meat plates:

· jamón serrano (the famous ham of Spain - it is similar to Italy’s prosciutto)
· manchego el trigal (manchego is a Spanish cheese)
· cured pork loin
· smoked duck breast with balsamic syrup

Then came the tapas. We decided to order 2 additional tapas dishes since we had five people and it was the Bocado Experience for Four. Keep in mind that these are small portions on a plate. For instance, with the ham and cheese croquettes, there were four croquettes on the plate, each about the size of a jalapeño pepper. For the scallop dish, there were four bacon-wrapped scallops on the plate.

Here’s what we enjoyed:

· fried calamari with garlic, lemon, parsley & orange horseradish cream
· sautéed shrimp with garlic, parsley,& olive oil
· grilled Serrano ham wrapped asparagus with roasted garlic
aioli & shaved manchego
· ham & cheese fritters with remoulade & rioja drizzle
· a salad of lettuce, red onion, hearts of palm, tomato, avocado,

and manchego
· piquillo pepper stuffed with tasso ham, garbanzo beans & goat

cheese with grilled onion crema
· bacon wrapped scallops with white truffle honey & red pepper flakes
· kobe beef mini burgers (two little burgers)
· braised rabbit in tomato & roasted garlic sauce with rustic toast
· baked crab & vegetable filled savory pastry (empanada)
· sautéed mussels tossed with garlic, sun dried tomato, basil,

cracked black pepper, white wine & cream
· grilled lollipop lamb chops with rosemary mustard oil

They bring out the tapas a little at a time. Then, by the time you finish what they brought out, they bring more!

I don’t think Todd understood that we were still going to get the paella dish once the tapas had ended. We were all feeling satisfied by that time. So we tasted and took the rest home. Skinny Dave was chosen to bring it home, but he stayed at our house and left it in my refrigerator. I’ll enjoy it later!

Luckily, the desserts were small. The flan was the best flan I ever ate in my life! I think we all agreed on that. I'm guessing it was a 4" diameter flan. Oh, and the churros were wonderful.

The meal lasted almost three hours, so it was an entire evening of dining and great conversation. It was a real treat.

With our drinks included and the two extra tapas plates, the bill was $203, which came out to about $50 per person once we left a 20% tip.

If you are ever in or near Worcester, MA, you should try to get to this restaurant.

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