What to order at Boqueria Seaport

Restaurants

Owner Yann de Rochefort and beverage director Lynne White discuss the best seasonal cocktails and dishes to order at this new Spanish restaurant in Seaport.

Boqueria restaurant on Thomson Place in Seaport. Alex Svenson/Boston.com

Authentic Spanish cuisine with a modern flare has made its way to Boston’s Seaport district.

Boqueria, which opened its Seaport location on Sept. 12, traces its roots back to Manhattan’s Flatiron neighborhood, where it began as a casual tapas bar in 2006. The restaurant now hosts ten other locations across the country, with its Seaport location being the ninth to open. At the restaurant, located at 25 Thomson Place in Seaport, you’ll find a large dining room with a bar and an open kitchen.


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Founder and CEO Yann de Rochefort opened Boqueria after living in Spain and studying Barcelona’s dining scene. He said the idea to open a location in Boston was inspired by his wife, who is from Massachusetts, along with the growing restaurant scene in Seaport.

“I was a bit concerned at first as to how the Boston crowd would react to a New Yorker with a French name opening a Spanish restaurant,” de Rochefort said. “But so far, business has exceeded expectations.

Additionally, de Rochefort said Boston was a great choice for a Boqueria due to the lack of Spanish restaurants in the city.

“Think about it, how many Italian restaurants are there in Boston?” de Rochefort said. “Hundreds! But how many Spanish restaurants are there? Less than ten maybe.”

When asked about why Seaport specifically was chosen as the location to open Boqueria, de Rochefort said Back Bay and the South End were also considered, but the final decision was Seaport due to its population of young professionals and thriving restaurant scene.

“We felt that Seaport has the younger crowd we were trying to attract, and the crowd that would be the most open to trying new dishes and unique flavors.”

The concept behind Boqueria is to create a menu using ingredients that would be readily available to a Spanish chef but give them new twists to provide a unique dining experience, according to de Rochefort.

The menu at Boqueria in Seaport. – Alex Svenson/Boston.com

“None of the ingredients you see in our menu wouldn’t be available to a Spanish chef,” de Rochefort said. “But I think the spins we put on them are what set us apart from other Spanish restaurants.”

The restaurant also puts an emphasis on its cocktail menu. Beverage director Lynne White explained that Boqueria’s cocktail menu combines traditional Spanish beverages with popular American favorites. Boqueria’s menu features craft cocktails, and imported Spanish wine, in addition to its wide selection of tapas, entrees, and desserts.

The menu is seasonal, with additional smaller changes made every few months.

Below, de Rochefort and White give their top drink and food recommendations from the wintertime seasonal menu, so newcomers will know what to order at Boqueria.

Drinks

Negroni Blanco

“The Negroni Blanco is my personal favorite drink on our menu right now,” White said. “When many people think of making wintertime cocktails, they tend to think of using dark liquor. What I love about the Negroni Blanco is it uses gin, white vermouth, Luxardo Bitter Bianco, Faccia Bruto Centerbe, and orange bitters to give it that wintery herbal flavor, but stays light and smooth.”

The Shishito Margarita at Boqueria. – Liz Clayman/Boqueria

Shishito Margarita

“This margarita made with shishito peppers is interesting because many people might think of it as a spicy margarita, but in reality only one in ten shishito peppers are spicy,” White said. “So what this margarita offers is more of a crisp and fresh peppery taste with a bit of a bite at the end, as we infuse our tequila used in this margarita with shishito pepper.”

Piña Ahumada

“Mezcal is an acquired taste, but it is becoming more and more popular,” de Rochefort said. “The Piña Ahumada perfectly balances the smoky flavor of Mezcal with the bitter flavor of Aperol, the sweet flavor of pineapple, the tart flavor of blood orange and finishes it with an herbaceous hint of ginger.”

Vieux Carré

Pitcher of Sangria at Boqueria. – Liz Clayman/Boqueria

“This drink ordinates in New Orleans and has been around for a long time,” de Rochefort said. “It is a whiskey cocktail, and similar to a Manhattan, but with a sweeter and more herbal flavor due to the Cognac and the Benedictine. It is the perfect cocktail to order with… or for… dessert.”

Sangria

“As a Spanish restaurant, of course, we have sangria,” White said. “While we do put an emphasis on our cocktail menu, I definitely recommend everyone try our red, white, or rosé Sangria. We also make a sangria with Spanish cider.”

Dishes

Croquetas

“Croquetas, crispy-fried scoops of mashed potatoes with creamy cheese, are classic Spanish tapas,” de Rochefort said. “We offer one kind called croquetas de setas, which are filled with mushrooms and served with truffle aioli, and another kind called croquetas de jamón, which are filled with ham and served with a quince puree. This great combination of savory and sweet is a must-try.”

The escalivada and jamón Ibérico at Boqueria. – Liz Clayman/Boqueria

Escalivada

“Escalivada is also a classic tapas dish you will find all over Spain,” de Rochefort said.” It is roasted eggplant, red pepper, and onion, mashed together with olive oil. What makes ours unique is we add a bit of labneh, (a creamy yogurt-like product) and serve it with our focaccia. It also tastes great with our boquerones (anchovies). This is a great example of how we add a unique twist to traditional Spanish dishes.”

The gambas al ajillo at Boqueria. – Liz Clayman/Boqueria

Gambas al Ajillo

“This dish is shrimp cooked in guindilla pepper infused olive oil, garlic, brandy, and with a lobster reduction,” de Rochefort said. “Adding the lobster reduction is another example of what our unique spin on traditional Spanish dishes.”

Pulpo a la Plancha

“Our seared octopus is served with manzanilla olives and olive-oil mashed potatoes,” de Rochefort said. This dish is another one of my recommendations if you want a classic Spanish tapas dish.”

Cerdo Ibérico

“One of the biggest highlights on our menu is our Ibérico pork,” de Rochefort said. “This pork is famous not only in Spain but across the world due to its rich, nutty flavor and distinct marbling. It is very fresh and such a high quality that you can eat it medium rare, such as in our Ibérico con Salbitxada (seared pork with an almond garlic vinegar sauce and fried egg). We also serve it cured in our Jamón Ibérico (ham aged for 36 months).”

Dessert

Churros

“For dessert, you have to go with our churros,” de Rochefort said. “We serve them with a dulce de leche, hot chocolate, or Nutella sauce.”