On a sunny Saturday afternoon, while walking down Newbury Street, there are plenty of restaurants with patios where you can dine outside and people watch. This weekend, I stopped by Tapeo for a few tapas and some sangria.
Tapeo is the sister restaurant to Dali, one of my favorite restaurants. Their menus area nearly the same though the ambiance is very different. I have eaten inside of Tapeo before and it lacks the romantic ambiance of Dali as well as the sense that you have traveled elsewhere. But, Dali does not have an outside patio, which is its own ambiance. When I do stop by Tapeo, it is generally to dine on the patio.
On this visit, there were three of us and we ordered a pitcher of Sangria ($26) as well a Tortilla Espanola ($7), Gambas al Ajillo ($9.50), and Patatas Bravas ($6.50). The first thing to reach our table was the Tortilla Espanola. Where was the Sangria? Where was the bread and chickpea spread? At Dali, the bread and Sangria are the first items delivered to your table. The Gambas then came and still no Sangria or bread. The bread finally came but the Sangria did not arrive until the Patatas did. The service did not please me. I will note that the service has usually been better on my previous visits.
The Tortilla and Gambas were very good. The Tortilla is a large slice of an egg, potato and onion omelette. The Gambas was a small terra cotta dish jammed with sizzling shrimp and garlic, one of my favorite tapa. I enjoy putting the thin slices of garlic, with some oil, atop the bread. The bread was not up to its usual quality and even the chickpea paste was not as good as usual. the Patatas were another disappointment. They usually have a crispy exterior but these lacked that crisperior exterior. The Sangria was up to its usual high standards.
It was certainly pleasant to sit outside, sipping Sangria, on such a nice day. But the meal itself was somewhat of a let down. Tapeo can and has been better. I hope this was an aberration and not the norm of how it has become. Dali remains a much better choice.
266 Newbury Street