Nibble from a parade of tiny Spanish plates marching across your table, flaunting their flavors with flair. Today's Groupon brings you the flavors of Madrid circa 1930, forged in the kitchen of Estragon, the South End's authentic tapas haven: $15 buys you $30 worth of pintxos, verduras, pescados, and carnes in Estragon's art deco dining room.
Chef Julia de Haro, hailing from the actual Madrid (and not some online Madrid-certification course), entices your palate with an array of old-world dishes. Take a look at the Estragon menu for saucy little dishes, such as puerros con romesco (grilled baby leeks, $7), ostras (Island Creek oysters in tarragon mignonette, $2.50 each), carillada de buey (braised beef cheek in Pedro Ximenez reduction, $13), and fideos negros (fideo noodles, squid ink, mussels, and calamari, $16). For less adventurous fare (we're not judging), try the pincho moruno (Moorish lamb skewers with cumin mustard, $13) or the confit de pato (confited duck leg with onion marmalade and orange reduction, $16). Estragon's affordable, all-Spanish wine list will make your meal dazzle with riojas by the bottle and sangria by the glass.
Tapas are meant for sharing, so gather a handful of friends or a league of mutually respected enemies with a common goal— destroying Superman—and head to the South End for a bohemian evening of magnificent Spanish cuisine. Estragon is open until 11 p.m., Monday through Wednesday, and until 1 a.m., Thursday through Saturday (it's closed on Sunday).
The Boston Phoenix raves over Estragon's authentic fare:
- Perhaps most remarkably, they serve the real Spanish bread, in paper bags: miniature, pointy-ended loaves that are softer than, though just as flavorful as, genuine French bread. You can have it with the complimentary platter of olives (including giant, ripe red ones never before seen in Boston) and the excellent extra virgin olive oil with tarragon leaves marinating in the bottle. – Robert Nadeau, Boston Phoenix
Boston magazine appreciates the exotic offerings at Estragon:
- Estragon coaxes you out of your comfort zone with its landlubber tapas, you're ready for the exotic terrain of grilled baby octopus, braised squid with blood sausage, and foie gras–sea urchin "sliders." – Jolyon Helterman, Boston
Sharing vs. Scaring
Like popcorn at the movies and jumbo crayons in kindergarten, tapas are designed for sharing, facilitating conversation and encouraging a variety of experiences, rather than a slow, plodding evening of staring at one’s own plate. Clearly, sharing is usually the way to go, but there are exceptions. Here’s a handy list of sharing do’s and don’t’s for you to print out and keep in your wallet:
Do share your Halloween candy with your parents, because they’re just going to take it while you’re sleeping anyway.
Don’t share the remarkable surprise ending of Harry Potter and The Parliament of Shadows, now available for pre-order, arriving in bookstores in 2011.
Do share your favorite chewed up, drool-soaked squeaking plush duck with your dog, so that you can blame its ragged condition on him when fancy dinner guests arrive.
Don’t share your awesome idea for a new Die Hard movie with local law enforcement officials by referring to it as your “plan.”
Follow @Groupon_Says on Twitter.
At Estragon, Madrid-native Head Chef Julio de Haro prepares artistic small plates of Spanish specialties, drawing on family recipes passed down over generations. Sangria, specialty cocktails, and more than 100 Spanish wines complement meticulously arranged pintxos and tapas. Patrons may eat in the chandelier-lit main dining room, cozy up to the 15-seat bar, or visit the eatery's library, home to the last existing copy of Ernest Hemmingway's recipe for empanadas.
700 Harrison Ave
Boston, Massachusetts 02118Get Directions