Monday, August 1, 2016

Rant: Old Restaurants Need Love Too

     Eighteen years ago, in 1998, Taberna de Haro opened in Brookline, presenting delicious Spanish cuisine and about 40 Spanish wines, including 10 Sherries. It has seen numerous changes and growth since then, and continues offering a tasty variety of Spanish dishes. In addition, its wine list has grown by leaps and bounds, now including over 300 Spanish wines and over 60 Sherries. It is one of my favorite restaurants and I love dropping by to sample one of their new Sherry offerings.

     What bothers me though about Taberna de Haro, and many other older restaurants is that they often get ignored by numerous food writers. Many writers choose to write only about the hot new restaurants which have opened during the past year. There is a rush by some to be the first to write about a new restaurant. As such, most readers hear primarily about new restaurants and don't hear much about older restaurants, which might be equally as compelling as any new restaurant.

     Though Taberna de Haro has been around for 18 years, there are still plenty of people who have never heard of it, or who don't realize the extent of its offerings beyond its Spanish cuisine. For example, they have the largest and best Spanish wine list in the Boston area, and it is probably also one of the best all-Spanish wine lists in the entire country. They also offer an incredible selection of Sherry, which also is probably one of the best in the country. You might not know they also offer numerous Gin selections.

     The restaurant industry is very, very tough and each month, a number of restaurants close their doors.  It's easy for a new restaurant to gain publicity, and get seen by a myriad of potential customers, for older places have much more difficulty getting discussed in the media. And without such exposure, it is harder for them to get exposed to potential customers. It is probably part of the reason why some chefs open multiple restaurants, knowing that will gain them additional exposure, which will also transfer to their older restaurants as well.

     Places like Taberna de Haro are worthy culinary destinations which have stood the test of time. They deserve more attention than they receive. We need more food writers to write about older restaurants too, to not just highlight new spots. We need more food writers to discuss such older places in social media. We need to give these places more publicity so that they continue to thrive and   provide great food and drink.

     Newer isn't necessarily better and we need to better appreciate the offerings of the older and experienced.

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