Tapas are a relatively recent addition to America’s culinary palette. Maybe in NYC they’ve had it for decades but outside of that it took its time in New England. Outside of Metro-Boston, they are not thick on the ground.
Worcester boasts one and it is worthy of a visit. In the Canal District of Wormtown, Bocado Tapas and Wine Bar resides in converted mill space.
Bocado is a wonderful place for people who know tapas, but it is also and especially the place to go if you are a newbie. On our first visit, the waitress began by asking us how familiar we were with the genre.
Though not rank beginners, we profited by her knowledge anyway. Subsequently, we have not needed much guidance, but it is nice to know the wait staff can answer questions.
If you go in order with the menu, the first course is Charcuteria y Queso. It is what it says, meat and cheese. Could be beef, duck, ham etc. The cheese is sheep, goat or cow’s milk of various styles.
On to the tapas, of which there is no dearth of choices. Tapas means small plates so you choose from a goodly selection on the menu. Though you don’t get an unlimited selection, there is more food than you think.
We steal a snippet from the menu to give you a tiny idea of the variety below,
TORTILLA ESPAÑOLA potato, egg & onion omelet with tapenade & red pepper crème fraiche
ENSALADA DE SALMÓN Caesar salad topped with Cajun grilled salmon, crumbled bleu cheese & rioja aioli
BISTEC CRUDO beef carpaccio with fiery paprika oil, fried garlic, manchego & rioja syrup
After that is a larger dish. I recommend the seafood paella, or Paella de Mariscos.
Dessert is either a churro or flan. You may have had enough already, but we we’re nearly always game and happy.
It is not the most inexpensive place, but it is a lot of food. Bocado is an experience worth having. Heck, I’d pick cans by the side of the road if I had to. You can get away without breaking the bank, by limiting the order and still come away happy.
Bocado is at 82 Winter Street. In Worcester Mass. The website is http://www.bocadotapasbar.com/ .
Bocado is on facebook here.
Also, my Sturbridge Times Magazine review.