Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Taberna De Haro, Brookline

There are those restaurants that sit, quietly, without proclamation, waiting for you to find them.  They have been around for ages, their food known to be good, classic, and dependable.  Perhaps it is their dependability that makes their presence known, but not emphatically.  Taberna De Haro in Brookline in one of these restaurants.  Opened in 1998, Taberna De Haro has stood the test of time, offering authentic Spanish Tapas to the hungry residents of Brookline and Boston.  As my sister, a lover of tapas, was in town over the holiday weekend, and she has recently returned from a trip to Spain, I couldn't think of a better spot to check out.

We began our journey of tapas with the Tortilla Espanola, a rustic dish of potatoes layered high into an omelet and then sliced into wedges.  This was a simple and clean preparation, with little adornment.  The result was a satisfying intro into our tapas meal.

Next were Piquillos Rellenos, roasted red peppers, stuffed with Branada and then pan fried.  Branada is an ingredient I haven't been introduced to previously- so I thought I'd provide a little explanation here for anyone else who hasn't tried it.  Branada, in its basest form, is an emulsion of salt cod and olive oil.  Here it was stuffed into those wonderful peppers which, when roasted take on a beautiful earthy and tangy flavor.  The Branada was a bit grainy for my liking, with a tongue feel similar to light sand, but the flavors were lovely together.  

Next we tried the Alcachofas salteadas, sauteed artichoke hearts.  This was another simple preparation of tender artichoke hearts, quartered and then sauteed in olive oil and garlic.  The beauty of this dish was in its incredible simplicity- a showing of respect for the ingredients used.

Habas con jamon were delivered next, and were a standout of the evening-though the menu named fava beans in the dish, delivered were lima beans.  The difference was inconsequential however as the combination of the hearty beans with the wonderful smokey richness of the ham was a perfect combination.  It was a dish that we all enjoyed multiple helpings of, and were sad to see when it was done.

Next to our table was my stand by tapas order: Gambas al ajillo: a cast iron pan, sizzling with hot oil, and full of small shrimp and a healthy dose of garlic.  Taberna de Haro's offering did not disappoint with full flavors coming through, but not overpowering the delicate flavor of the fresh shrimp. 

Rounding out our table of food were the Chorizo a la Sidra, chorizo sausage braised in sparkling cider, and Ensalada de endivias con cabrales, a wonderful salad made simply of endive and blue cheese crumbles.  The chorizo was a good dish, though I felt that the cider reduced was too sweet for the sausage and overpowered it's spicy nature.  The salad, however, was perfect.  Bitter endive, crisp and refreshing, paired with tangy blue cheese was a wonderful addition to some of the heavier dishes we enjoyed.  

I was really impressed with Taberna de Haro, though from the rave reviews I've heard around town I knew that that was to be expected.  The beauty of their food is in the great simplicity with which it is prepared.  It is the confidence they show in their end result to not muddle every dish with extraneous garnish, or complicated ingredients.  Taberna de Haro graces every table with the feel of what a meal in Spain would be, full of flavor and life.           

1 comment:

Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic said...

I've heard of this place but haven't been to it yet since I don't venture into Brookline often enough, Sounds like the tapas are worth the trip!

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