Boqueria – New York, NY
I love this place! Last year we ended up going here twice for tapas before late dinners. We’ve nailed down our favorites – Padron peppers, sautéed wild mushrooms and the garlic shrimp. Be sure to ask for extra bread if you get the garlic shrimp…the garlic oil is too good not to sop up.
MoVida – Melbourne, Australia
Everywhere I searched and everyone I talked to recommended MoVida in Melbourne as a spot not to miss. I had a night to myself and because it was too late in the game to get reservations I decided to just cozy up to the bar. The wait was 45 minutes but it was well worth it. Located in a funky alley right off of Flinders Street and across from Federation Square, the door and signage is discreet but it’s not that hard to find.
Because I was ordering for one I decided to stick mostly to the tapas side of the menu where you can order by the piece but I also decided to order a couple of the specials since they sounded so good. The first were the Padron Peppers. OMG I love those! Whenever they’re on a menu I have to order them. If you haven’t had them before they saying is “some are hot, some are not”. The majority (I would say 9 out of 10) are sweet and mild, however there’s always one in the batch that is hot and spicy. The order was large and the people next to me had befriended me so I offered to share. Unfortunately the guy next to me got the hot one:)
Next I had the Gamba – prawn and romesco pincho. The presentation wasn’t what I was expecting (beautiful, clean and simple) but the flavors were definitely there and I honestly could have eaten a lot of those.
The Cordero al Chilindron was also calling my name – Pyrenees wet roast lamb breast with fino and paprika sauce. Delicious! So tender and juicy, the meat pulled apart so easily. This dish was great and the portion size was perfect for just one.
To finish I went with the special fish of the day. I can’t remember what it was now but the fish distributor happened to be the guy I was sitting next to and I ordered it because I saw the dish come to him. It was fantastic! Pan fried perfectly, the fish sat in a lovely broth with chorizo and clams…my kind of dish! I ate the entire thing and was very happy about it:)
Overall I have to say this place really reminds me of The Harvest Vine in Seattle. Not so much the atmosphere but the food most definitely. MoVida is a little more progressive but it’s nice to know I won’t have to go so far to get the same type of meal. If you’re in Melbourne go! It’s the spot everyone is talking about but be sure you go to the original MoVida…their new sister restaurant is next door but this is the one people keep going back to.