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Boqueria, New York Tapas Chain in South Dupont in the old Penang Space

New York Chain Dupont Circle South Dupont Spanish Tapas

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#1 DonRocks

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Posted 28 November 2011 - 03:22 PM

Seeing Katelin's post reminded me that a third encarnation of Boqueria was supposed to open this year at 1837 M Street (the old Penang space) - does anyone have any updates? Their DC website is here.

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#2 ktmoomau

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Posted 30 November 2011 - 02:28 PM

Really? That would be cool, I really liked the place.

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#3 squidsdc

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 04:40 PM

Seeing Katelin's post reminded me that a third encarnation of Boqueria was supposed to open this year at 1837 M Street (the old Penang space) - does anyone have any updates? Their DC website is here.


Nothing official, but last time I walked by they at least had their sign displayed. Previous to that it was just the For Lease sign that was visible.

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#4 Bob Loblaw

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Posted 20 March 2012 - 10:44 AM

Now I await the opening of Boqueria


Your wait is over. It opened last Thursday: http://dc.eater.com/...pont-circle.php

#5 mtureck

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Posted 20 March 2012 - 11:57 AM

Your wait is over. It opened last Thursday: http://dc.eater.com/...pont-circle.php


Just for dinner at the moment...lunch TBA.

#6 mtureck

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 01:28 PM

Boy, I'm happy. At around the same time I got a brand new Rasika branch, and a new tapas place that rivals Jaleo, both right near my office. Bad news for the wallet and waistline...good news for the palate!

To be fair, it's been a while since I've had a great meal at Jaleo, so I can't honestly say Boqueria is better than Jaleo ever was, but it's certainly better than the last few meals I've had there.

It's also significantly better than Guardado's, which I liked a lot when I tried it a few weeks ago. Timing is everything.

I've had good luck with the daily dinner special tapas, including an outstanding parsnip/orange concoction that was my favorite dish so far. The tapas from the normal menu, including a Gambas al Ajillo with lots of dippable garlic oil, the Patatas Bravas, and Albóndigas (juicy lamb meatballs), are all excellent.

The only disappointments so far have been an overly tame Pimientos de Padrón and the much smaller lunch menu...the great selection of meats and cheeses available for dinner are paired down to a few "chef choice" combos for lunch.

On the other hand, lunch service (especially at the bar) has been excellent, dinner service varies between overattentive and invisible.

There's a big haunch of high end Iberico Ham sitting at the bar, which goes for $34 an ounce I believe, that's on my list for my next dinner there. I wonder what the minimum purchase is...

#7 DPop

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 08:55 AM

Yeah, I was going to say, I hope they're a whole lot better than Jaleo is right now. I haven't had a good meal there since 2004. A better question would be whether it's in the same league as Estadio.....

This menu looks very promising, definitely worth a look.

#8 mtureck

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 10:26 AM

Yeah, I was going to say, I hope they're a whole lot better than Jaleo is right now. I haven't had a good meal there since 2004. A better question would be whether it's in the same league as Estadio.....

This menu looks very promising, definitely worth a look.


Sorry, haven't eaten at Estadio...can't compare.

#9 weinoo

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 10:36 AM

There's a big haunch of high end Iberico Ham sitting at the bar, which goes for $34 an ounce I believe, that's on my list for my next dinner there. I wonder what the minimum purchase is...


That seems pretty expensive...this place sells it by the 1/4 lb. for $30...obviously, not in a restaurant setting, pre-sliced. And at Pata Negra here in New York, they do a 3-ham tasting for $35...

Yeah, I was going to say, I hope they're a whole lot better than Jaleo is right now. I haven't had a good meal there since 2004. A better question would be whether it's in the same league as Estadio.....


Yeah, who knows? Maybe they even have a wait list for the bar.

#10 weinoo

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 04:14 PM

Yeah, who knows? Maybe they even have a wait list for the bar.


And...they don't. Have a wait list for the bar, that is. Tried to get in last night and while there were plenty of empty tables (that had evidently been reserved), the bar was full. And they don't do a waiting list. Which is why we walked right out and headed to Vidalia.

Interestingly enough, on Wednesday night I met 2 friends at Maialino in New York. There was only 1 seat at the bar and the first thing the bartender asked me was if I'd like to put my name on a waiting list. To me, that's the right way to do things.

#11 squidsdc

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 01:19 PM

I've attempted to write something about my meal here last Friday a few times, but keep getting interrupted and haven't been able to post!

The long and the short of it:
  • We arrived for lunch at 1:45pm. It was fairly empty so anyone who likes a late lunch this is a great option. They went beyond the norm in accommodating my allergies. Very pleasant interactions from over the phone, to the wait stand, to the servers. +++
  • I was thrilled* to be able to eat something "on" the menu, unadulterated. The hangar steak salad was delicious. A significant piece of meat prepared med. rare, as ordered, with a very nice beef flavor. Buttlermilk/blue cheese dressing, I believe, but my memory could be wrong on the exact specifics of the dressing...I was just over the moon to not have to use fresh lemon instead of a real dressing :rolleyes:
  • The blistered Shishito peppers with sea salt were like crack. Very addictive.
  • I had a rosé Sangria that was quite good. Not too sweet, but nice and fruity.
  • Barbara will have to comment on her fennel salad as I was unable to sample it.
  • We were both too full for dessert, but there were some items on the menu that defintiely appealed!
I would definitely return.

* for those of you who know my many allergies, I thought for certain I may not even be able to eat here. When I tried Jaleo (group was going) my meal was limited to basically ham and bread. So to not only be able to eat here but to sample items without alteration is an absolute phenomenal feat in my book!

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#12 Barbara

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 02:05 PM

I've attempted to write something about my meal here last Friday a few times, but keep getting interrupted and haven't been able to post!

The long and the short of it:

  • We arrived for lunch at 1:45pm. It was fairly empty so anyone who likes a late lunch this is a great option. They went beyond the norm in accommodating my allergies. Very pleasant interactions from over the phone, to the wait stand, to the servers. +++
  • I was thrilled* to be able to eat something "on" the menu, unadulterated. The hangar steak salad was delicious. A significant piece of meat prepared med. rare, as ordered, with a very nice beef flavor. Buttlermilk/blue cheese dressing, I believe, but my memory could be wrong on the exact specifics of the dressing...I was just over the moon to not have to use fresh lemon instead of a real dressing :rolleyes:
  • The blistered Shishito peppers with sea salt were like crack. Very addictive.
  • I had a rosé Sangria that was quite good. Not too sweet, but nice and fruity.
  • Barbara will have to comment on her fennel salad as I was unable to sample it.
  • We were both too full for dessert, but there were some items on the menu that defintiely appealed!
I would definitely return.

* for those of you who know my many allergies, I thought for certain I may not even be able to eat here. When I tried Jaleo (group was going) my meal was limited to basically ham and bread. So to not only be able to eat here but to sample items without alteration is an absolute phenomenal feat in my book!


Squids forgot to mention the Patatas Bravas. These were incredibly good and light years better than what I had, once, at Jaleo. They came with two different little bowls of aioli (which she couldn't try) and a spicy tomato sauce. The shrimp with fennel was a very nice light lunch meal. It was very similiar to the orange/fennel salad I make at home, except that it had some very good marinated shrimp on top. I had a bite of Squids' steak and thought it was just delicious.

We over-ordered on the food; but, that was because we wanted to try so many things. I expect this will be a place we revisit fairly often. I would highly recommend this place for an HH get-together. Decent wine by the glass and a couple orders of those peppers and the potatoes would be enough for a crowd to nibble on.

#13 squidsdc

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 03:01 PM

Squids forgot to mention the Patatas Bravas. These were incredibly good and light years better than what I had, once, at Jaleo. They came with two different little bowls of aioli (which she couldn't try) and a spicy tomato sauce. The shrimp with fennel was a very nice light lunch meal. It was very similiar to the orange/fennel salad I make at home, except that it had some very good marinated shrimp on top. I had a bite of Squids' steak and thought it was just delicious.

We over-ordered on the food; but, that was because we wanted to try so many things. I expect this will be a place we revisit fairly often. I would highly recommend this place for an HH get-together. Decent wine by the glass and a couple orders of those peppers and the potatoes would be enough for a crowd to nibble on.


Yes the Patatas Bravas were fantastic as well--can't believe I forgot about those! (but i did warn you about my memory lapses!)

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#14 Barbara

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 03:29 PM

Yes the Patatas Bravas were fantastic as well--can't believe I forgot about those! (but i did warn you about my memory lapses!)


Well, I did notice that you said we went on Friday, instead of Thursday. Cue the music and sing along with me: "Ah, Yes!, I remember it well . . . " Ain't nothin' to do but embrace your nascent inner Geezer. ;)

#15 darkstar965

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 10:25 PM

I stuck my nose in here today after being relatively unaware it had opened where Penang had been. Now having read the thread, I'm wondering how people have found it rates relative to Estadio? When I went in and looked at a couple of menus late afternoon, that was the comparison that seemed most relevant to me. Will give this a try next week. Not sure ironic is the word but at least mildly intriguing a Spanish restaurant now sits atop a Mexican fast food joint.
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#16 SVT

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 01:21 PM

Now having read the thread, I'm wondering how people have found it rates relative to Estadio?


We had lunch here today, and I liked it. I'm hesitant to compare with Estadio, because I've only had one lunch here and dinner at Estadio, and as a result enjoyed cocktails at Estadio that I enjoyed very much.

All of the tapas that we had were worthwhile. The highlights for me were the sauteed mushrooms with manchego and thyme, and the lamb meatballs. We also tried some of the croquettes, and enjoyed them, as well as the salt cod fritters, which were perhaps a bit mild for my taste and were a bit overpowered by the citrus aioli. The shishito peppers, as somebody said above, are easily addictive.

The place was jammed at lunch but service was smooth, and (very happily) they seem to have done a good job with sound reduction, so we could talk at a normal volume with minimal issues. We'll definitely return--the bar looks inviting (and I bet will eventually be very crowded, if it isn't already).

#17 DonRocks

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 02:53 AM

We had lunch here today, and I liked it. I'm hesitant to compare with Estadio, because I've only had one lunch here and dinner at Estadio, and as a result enjoyed cocktails at Estadio that I enjoyed very much.


I'm glad Boqueria is getting good early returns, but I can guarantee that they've got their work cut out for them if they want to have a better beverage program than Estadio. I don't see it as even in the realm of possibility. Between Mark, Sebastian, Max, Adam, Sarah (?), the multi-taltented Mick, Justin, and various others, Estadio - wisely - has the beverage program (fully 1/2 of the bill, with everything transferable from restaurant-to-restaurant) down pat. Mark knows what he's doing, that's for sure. When are we going to meet for some vino, almighty Lord of Penn Quarter?

I have to say I'm pleasantly surprised by what I'm hearing about Boqueria, but they're smidgens and scattershots by people I trust, but haven't dined with personally. Still, I'm getting more optimistic than neutral.

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#18 hmmboy

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 11:36 AM

I'm at your disposal for a glass of vino....oh Lord of drunken 4AM posts. it is awkward for me to post about Estadio's beverage program on Boqueria's thread - I wish them nothing but the best - but I would be remiss if I did not supplement Don's much appreciated compliment with a clarification. Our wine program - 450 Spanish selections and ever growing - is the best selection of Spanish wines I have seen in the United states, save Casa Mono's glorious list. My darling Sebastian put together a strong opening list, but abdicated control of it to my son Max a few months after we opened. Max has not only done a sensational job expanding it, but he also runs the phenomenal beer, sherry, cider and Madeira lists - and is a fountain of knowledge on the floor for inquiring guests. I am extraordinarily proud of his efforts.
"I get slandered, libeled, I hear words I never heard in the Bible. And I'm so tired - I'm oh so tired. But I'm trying to keep my customers satisfied. Satisfied." Simon & Garfunkel

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#19 jiveturk21

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Posted 07 June 2012 - 07:18 AM

Other than a pretty pedestrian glass of sangria at the bar on Monday night (isn't all sangria in restaurants pretty crappy these days!?) and a hostess that was clearly clueless, I have to say that my first visit to Boqueria was excellent.

Sitting outside on a beautiful night with great company makes almost every restaurant worthwhile, but our server kept bringing out plate after plate of delicious food from the kitchen. Particular standouts were the beef and potato croquettes, quail eggs and chorizo on toast, lamb skewers and the squid ink pasta with shellfish that absolutely stole the show. In fact, other than a standard beet salad dish, every single dish that we had (a lot of dishes with seven people) I would grade at a B+ or higher. Overall, simply a great place to eat.

#20 Marty L.

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 10:49 AM

Very disappointing lunch there yesterday. All five items -- the bacon-wrapped dates; the spinach/pinon/chickpeas (way, way oversalted); the quail egg on toast; the squid; and the lamb meatballs -- were unremarkable at best; not nearly as good as comparable dishes at Jaleo and Estadio; and significantly overpriced (as is the case with many "small dishes" all over town recently).

I hope it was just an off day in the kitchen, since I've heard such great things about the NYC locations.

#21 goodeats

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 11:29 AM

Very disappointing lunch there yesterday. All five items -- the bacon-wrapped dates; the spinach/pinon/chickpeas (way, way oversalted); the quail egg on toast; the squid; and the lamb meatballs -- were unremarkable at best; not nearly as good as comparable dishes at Jaleo and Estadio; and significantly overpriced (as is the case with many "small dishes" all over town recently).

I hope it was just an off day in the kitchen, since I've heard such great things about the NYC locations.


Sounds like an off day. When I went last I found it pricey (but I feel that way abt tapas in general); the flavors were clean (minus finding plastic in my squid) and balanced. It won't break taste bud boundaries but thought its a nice addition to the area...
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#22 JuneBacon

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 12:02 PM

(minus finding plastic in my squid)


Clear thin plastic? http://0.tqn.com/d/h...rtilagesbs7.jpg Might have been cartilage.

#23 goodeats

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 02:12 PM

One clear long thin one and a few bits plus a circular one. Never seen squid cartilage--I feel so ignorant. It's usu cleaned when I buy at the Asian store--thanks Junebacon
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#24 mtureck

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 12:40 PM

I don't go enough to really judge where the overall quality is at the moment, but I can say that my lunch today, a serrano ham/manchego cheese sandwich served with a side of patatas bravas and a small salad for $9, is one of the better values in the Dupont area.

#25 DonRocks

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 01:07 PM

One clear long thin one and a few bits plus a circular one. Never seen squid cartilage--I feel so ignorant. It's usu cleaned when I buy at the Asian store--thanks Junebacon


Don't feel bad - many years ago, I complained to my server in a Pho house that my cilantro smelled like soap. She looked at me with some degree of indignity, and said, "no, that's because it's cilantro" (and she was right).

I'll bet a *lot* of people don't know about squid cartilage - thanks for the post, JuneBacon.

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#26 squidsdc

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 02:06 PM

I don't go enough to really judge where the overall quality is at the moment, but I can say that my lunch today, a serrano ham/manchego cheese sandwich served with a side of patatas bravas and a small salad for $9, is one of the better values in the Dupont area.


Especially when the Pepe food truck sells a serrano/manchego sandwich for $9 without any sides.

"Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain"--The Great Oz


#27 docsconz

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 04:58 PM

Had lunch at Boqueria today - just a few tapas. The first two, the tortilla Española and the croquetas were just ok. Jaleo's croquetas, earlier in the week, were much better. The restaurant was redeemed though by the setas and the gambas al ajillo, both of which were quite good. I enjoyed the gambas more than those at Jaleo, as the ones at Jaleo, I felt were too sweet for my preference. These were more purely olive oil, garlic and pimentón. On the whole, I preferred Jaleo, but Boqueria was still quite good.

#28 bettyjoan

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Posted 18 August 2013 - 05:42 PM

Somewhere I learned that Boqueria did unlimited tapas/drinks for brunch on Saturdays and Sundays, so we decided to try it out today.  It is $39 for all you can eat of a list of about 15-20 tapas (including a couple of sweets), and all you can drink of sangria (3 kinds), mimosas, or Estrella Dam beer.  I gotta say, I didn't have super high expectations, but I was VERY pleasantly surprised.  I loved the pan con tomate, the patatas bravas, and the padron peppers, and the eggs benedict (with serrano ham) and tortillas were actually pretty darn respectable.  We also had bacon (nicely cooked and smoky), lamb meatballs (very flavorful), beet salad, pancakes with fruit, and churros (the low point of the meal - tasty enough, but somehow way too crunchy and oily at the same time).  I stuck with mimosas, but the white and rose sandrias were fine, according to my companions.  Service was attentive, if not overly friendly.  Overall, for the price, I really enjoyed the meal and would definitely go back.  It's not on par with Estadio, but it's a solid option and seemed to be great for groups.  After looking at the a la carte menu, I can definitely see how Boqueria could be a bit too expensive for a non-AYCE meal. 


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#29 dcandohio

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Posted 19 August 2013 - 06:09 AM

We had dinner here about a week ago and enjoyed the seasonal ingredients...tomatoes, watermelon, zucchini, etc. Ate a lot of the daily specials and thought they were all quite good. The little upstairs dining room is much quieter than downstairs.

Shut up and pour another glass of wine, please.


#30 ktmoomau

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 12:28 PM

Dinner here last night for my brother's birthday (he is milking it and we are doing another dinner again tonight).  We ordered a good portion of the winter menu.  We started with patatas bravas, a meat and a cheese tray and sparkling wine.  All were good, not anything new, but executed well.  And a nice portion for the price.  The plates came with a couple pan con tomat, olives, and the cheese tray came with other bread and fruit.  

 

We then had spinach with raisins and pine nuts, which was quite good, the spinach wasn't overcooked and it had great flavor, the mushrooms were also really good cooked perfectly with nice umaminess to them.  We enjoyed the croquettas with beef, they were big croquettas, great taste, but a big portion we could have probably halved one between two people, or ordered a little less overall.  But they were really good.  We also got the salt cod, which even the skeptics at the table really liked.  The one downer of a dish was the one with the Stachowski sausage, chickpeas, fried egg.  There was so much starch that the dish overall lost texture and flavor and there was no acidic pop, which is a shame because I would bet those are great sausages.  I would have also switched to a poached egg so there was more yoke.  Lastly we had the lamb meatballs, which we couldn't eat all of, but they were excellent.  Good flavor, soft texture, nice tomato sauce with cucumber garnish, really a nice flavor profile.  All in all it was a really nice birthday meal for the bro.


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Wants to grab the yoke from the pilot and just
Fly the whole mess into the sea. The Shins
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