Octopus, citrus aioli, diced jalapeño, slightly pickled cabbage and red onion, house-made mayo and a sprinkle of paprika, held together by a fresh brioche. I know, right? Sounds reeeally good. Boqueria just rolled out a new pulpo roll – like the beloved lobster roll except with octopus and some Spanish flair – and I was lucky to have the chance to sample the goods.
Boqueria is one of the restaurants that I always recommend when people ask me where to get good, authentic Spanish food in New York. It’s the place to find tapas inspired by the dishes served in Barcelona – hence the name, Boqueria, after the tremendous food market in the center of Barcelona, right off La Rambla. I go to Boqueria every time I’m in Barcelona, no matter that it’s a tourist trap and you have to throw bows to get a fruit smoothie (for me: coconut + banana). Boqueria (NYC) serves the kind of market fresh tapas that you can find at the bars at the back of the Boqueria (BCN).
Gathering inspiration from their surroundings, Boqueria’s new dish, the pulpo roll, is a little bit Spain and a little bit New York. Executive Chef Marc, a Barcelona native, gave me a peek into the kitchen and showed me how it’s done. Like most great dishes, it relies on a combination of simple, super fresh ingredients. And expertly cooked octopus, “asustado”, or submerged in boiling water three times then left in the water the third time until cooked.
Cooking an octopus sounds simple, in theory. But trust me, I learned during my first tango with the tentacles that it’s no small task – the slightest bit of overcooking renders it overly chewy and nearly impossible to eat. While you’re still figuring out how to perfect your pulpo, I highly recommend giving Boqueria’s a try. And you can stop complaining that lobster roll season is over – there’s a new roll in town and it’s B2S approved ✓✓✓
53 W 19th St.
171 Spring St.
1460 2nd Ave.