Nowadays it’s in style to eat tapas style.
“Everyone loves tapas style. It’s very fun. It’s very festive.”
And when you’re looking for a fun and festive food and a mood to match, you’ve got to go to Atlantico.
Located on Harrison Avenue, in Boston’s stylish South End, Atlantico is the brain child of Chef Michael Serpa- who has paired the flavors he found in his travels abroad and with all of the fresh local seafood he already had in his own backyard.
“Atlantico is a seafood driven tapas restaurant here in the South End. Traveling in Spain and eating seafood and how they really prepare it super simply. That’s kind of the motivation behind it. So the menu at Atlantico is designed to be fun. It’s designed to be a party. Everything’s designed to be shared a table. So it’s really a fun way to eat, because you get to try a lot of different items. You know, tapas setup is kind of made for that.”
The big, airy space is stunning with high ceilings, a big open kitchen, and a variety of seating which will suit any type of night.
“Atlantico is a party. There’s huge groups. There’s dates. There’s single people at the bar hanging out. We want to make it fun. We want to make it a release. And I think people gravitate towards that that energy. People want to let loose and we’re here to help them do that.”
The shareable, tapas style menu has a little something for everyone- especially if you love seafood. There’s the decadent Maine sea urchin served on a buttery sherry toast. And sauted petite clams served in a sauce of toasted garlic and chorizo.
“To get super simple clams like that. would be very, very typical in Spain or Portugal. So this is one of my favorites and kind of a standby on the menu.”
There’s an oversized paella which makes a great centerpiece for any table. Bursting with chorizo, clams, mussels, Maine lobster, hake and squid over bomba rice, this dish truly has something for everyone. But if scallops are more your thing, the ‘vieras’ is the dish for you- presented over a roasted carrot puree with port soaked apricots and red cabbage.
“The carrot puree gives you a little bit of richness a little bit creaminess, get a little bit of tartness from the apricot with the white port. The red cabbage gives a little bit of texture and all the components are just complimentary.”
Traditional tapas you know and love make their way on the menu like the pan con tomate.
“That’s a classic Spanish tapas dish. We just press bread from Iggy’s local bakery, crushed tomato, garlic, olive oil and flake sea salt. It’s perfect snack with a glass of wine at the bar.
An order of patatas bravas is almost a requirement.
“People love fried potatoes anywhere french fries, bravas, whatever it is, like it’s kind of a go to. We do ours double fried a simple garlic aioli, and then salsa brava, which is roasted tomato, peppers, garlic, onions. It’s just super simple, but we think we do a really good job with it. Almost every table gets the bravas.”
Other veggies include roasted cauliflower with golden raisins in a cream almond Romesco sauce and a dish that we make you find a new appreciation for broccoli.
“Broccoli is a kind of generic vegetable that people don’t really think about in restaurants, and I said, let’s make it interesting. We do roasted broccoli, and shaved raw broccoli, shaved pear, toasted almonds, just a really simple dressing. And that served over a goat cheese with whipped chorizo and you also have the crunchy almonds. So you have a lot of textures going on and it comes together as a really kind of cohesive dish. And it’s been one of our best sellers.”
And what would your greens be without some meat. And at Atlantico, they serve nothing but the best, sourced by one of Boston’s top butchers.
“Our ribeye is from Savenor’s, the best butcher in Boston which we do on the grill and then we do a Red Onion Jam with tempernio and a little bit of lemon and sea salt with super simple, really shareable. Think it’s a great steak.”
And while picking between all of the shared plates can be a challenge, deciding on dessert is easy- because Michael has made it simple for you.
“I can’t measure. I’m not very good at making desserts but we have one dessert that we love. It’s essentially chocolate pot de creme so. It’s a really delicious rich chocolate, toasted hazelnuts in a hazelnut oil, sea salt, and then a little bit of olive oil to finish. It’s like the perfect cap to the meal.”
And what’s even a bigger source of pride for Michael is the hospitality at Atlantico.
“I’m really happy in restaurants, it’s like my element. Cooking is amazing. I love doing that. But even more, so I love making sure everyone has a good time. Restaurants are an escape from a lot of things. So it’s fun to see people have a good time at the table and know, we’re doing it right. “