171 Spring Street between West Broadway and Thompson
$70 for three, with drinks, without tip
I felt like I got the gist of Boqueria SoHo after I stopped by for “dessert” with my brother and sister-in-law during its second weekend. We walked in around 5:45pm to eat an early dinner but were turned away because the bar was full. The maitre d’ refused to seat us fifteen minutes before the official start of dinner service. It seemed like a ridiculous rule only a person with a clipboard would impose, so we went to Snack around the corner instead for a better dinner.
My companions really wanted to taste some Spanish wines, so we returned after dinner to try and score seats at one of the long tables in the middle of the restaurant. We were seated immediately by the beautiful pata negro and a few spots away from a swollen-looking Bobby Flay.
We started with beers on tap before we moved on to the full-bodied red wines. Because we were only there to pick and taste, we shared the Garrotxa goat cheese, the Valdeon blue and the Idiazabal, a smoked sheep’s milk cheese. A smattering of salchichon was thrown in the mix for a few extra dollars. The Brussels sprouts with sausage was a favorite, as well as the roasted green peppers I learned to love while I was in Barcelona.
Two years ago, I said the food at the first Boqueria needed to be more inspired. It’s more refined here in SoHo, but the attitude need not match the neighborhood.