Saturday night I had a date with one of my favorites- my mom. We decided to go for Mexican, and chose a spot that neither of us had been to before. Casa Romero, located in an ally off of Gloucester Street in the Back Bay gets rave reviews from everyone Ive spoken to.
As soon as we walked into the door, I knew that this would be a meal to remember. The restaurant is artistically decorated with pieces from Mexico that make you feel as though you might have actually been transported to an intimate spot south of the border. The outdoor patio, though it was getting a bit too cold for us to sit out there, looked like a perfect spot to dine on a warm summer evening.
We started with shrimp flautas. In basic terms these are fried taquitos- a small tortilla wrapped tightly around a filling so they resemble a cigar in appearance. At Casa Romero they were served with salsa, sour cream and guacamole on top to resemble the Mexican flag. Cute presentation, but unfortunately, taste wise they were a bit of a disappointment. The seasoning that was used in the shrimp filling (and to be honest- I couldn't quite place the ingredients other than shrimp) was not bold enough to over come the heat of the fryer. Therefore the dish was very hot, and not very flavorful. We also though that there could have been a bit more of the "flag" on top.
My disappointment though in the appetizer did not affect my joy in my entree. I had selected to have a dish called Pechuga de Pollo a la Mexicana which was a chicken breast cooked in a mixture of brandy, tomatoes, capers, mushrooms and olives. The chicken was moist and delicious, and the sauce served with it was very flavorful. I had anticipated the sauce to be more brandy than tomato, and while I was wrong, the outcome was delicious. The brandy could be tasted well in the background of the tomato, and the salty-ness of the capers and the olives shown through. I always enjoy mixing an acid like tomatoes with a salt- there is just something that the two together do to the taste buds that make it delicious. I would have liked to have seen more mushrooms in the dish, but over all, it was fantastic. I would be remiss if I didn't mention that it was also served with two side dishes, re fried beans and rice. Neither were very good to be frank. The beans had a burned taste to them which made them inedible, and the rice was fine, but rather dry and seemed to be an obvious after thought. Despite those two failures though, the chicken out shined it all, and I still have to call that dish a success- one that I would definitely order again.
We had a hard time deciding which dessert to share so we enlisted the help of our waitress. She recommended the Pay de Coco, which was a cheese cake made of ricotta and cream of coconut. It was served with toasted coconut on top and drizzled with an apricot sauce. The cake was light, and hinted of coconut and lemon. It was sweet without being over powering, rich without being too much. The toasted coconut on top added a slight crunch for the differing textures, and the sauce enhanced the dish over all. My mother was slightly concerned that the sauce could have been a bit sweeter, however I enjoyed the slight tartness to it. I found that it added to the lightness of the dish to have that sauce on the tart side rather than sweet- it almost allowed you to trick your mind into believing that you were not indulging in something decadent.
While Casa Romero did not meet my very high expectations, I enjoyed the evening thoroughly and would definitely return. The ambiance of the place, and the items that they did well far out shined those items that they did not do well.