Tomado de Stuff@Night Magazine

Spain comes to Boston — and it’s not your father’s Latin food

The South End keeps getting more interesting. Now there’s a corner of Harrison Avenue where Spanish is spoken with a Castilian lisp. The accent isn’t Cuban, Ecuadorian, Peruvian, or even Mexican. Estragon is Spain: pure, simple, and unmistakable, from the warm bowl of Marcona almonds to the crispy croquetas jamon. In fact, Estragon’s owner says it’s the only Spanish restaurant in Boston that’s actually owned by Spaniards. And the most important thing to know: it’s good. The menu is full of tapas and tastes that, according to owner Julio de Haro and partner Lara Gavigan, might be challenging, slightly exotic, and even icky to Americans. But they are as Spanish as, well, sardines on toast. Gavigan says the entire opening menu — from the jamón blanco and sliced octopus to the sautéed frog’s legs — is everyday Spanish staples. With its small, aromatic plates, Estragon encourages you to expand your comfort zone — and chef Alex Castagneto says early diners are responding: «We’re selling out of our special orellos — our crispy, deep-fried pigs’ ears — almost every night.»

Estragon and its sister space, gourmet shop Las Ventas, are both so Spanish that I have to ask the two de Haro brothers — along with Julio de Haro, who oversees everything, there’s his brother, Luis, newly arrived from Madrid, who manages the shop — to write down every name and ingredient they mention. What I do understand is that their intent is to present truly Spanish food to sophisticated Boston diners who a) have dined out in Spain, and/or b) have curious palates that will accept every possibly edible aspect of the pig or the eel. «Everything here is the real thing,» says Luis, fondling the jars of stuffed olives and tins of sardines on display at Las Ventas. «Direct from Spain. We don’t tell you that gray is blue. If it’s here, it’s Spanish.»

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Fotos de la inauguración de Estragón de aquí


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