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En Boca Opening Brings Mediterranean Cuisine to the Square

The interior of En Boca, which opened its doors in Harvard Square earlier this month.
The interior of En Boca, which opened its doors in Harvard Square earlier this month. By Priya Gill
By Junina Furigay, Crimson Staff Writer

Harvard Square feels a little more Mediterranean with the opening of En Boca, an restaurant that specializes in the region’s cuisine.

The restaurant opened its doors at 8 Holyoke St. on Oct. 6. The venue was previously the home of Sandrine’s, a French bistro, until that restaurant closed its doors last March after 18 years in the Square.

Nick Halloran, one of En Boca’s managers, said the restaurant is a “fun” spot for new customers.

“We have interesting food, a great bar program, an excellent wine list, and great music,” Halloran said. “It is a great spot if you want to have something different in Harvard Square.”

Halloran described En Boca as “modern with a touch of classic,” pointing to the restaurant’s minimalist design.

While En Boca’s menu features entrees like lamb meatballs and grilled octopus, the restaurant specializes in small plates that guests can share. The restaurant also features an extensive drink menu and boasts a 17-seat bar.

“We source from the entire Mediterranean. It’s not Spanish, Italian, or Moroccan cuisine—It is a little bit of everything,” Halloran said. “We have a big playground to play in.”

Halloran said the restaurant has been “very busy” since its opening.

“We have been open for two weeks and we are almost twice as busy now as we were during our first week,” he said.

The restaurant is owned by restaurant group Classic Restaurant Concepts, whose Chief Operating Officer Bill Goodwin said he does not foresee the construction of the adjacent Smith Campus Center deterring customers.

“Although during the day there is a lot of construction, it is still very accessible.” Goodwin said.

Goodwin said many Harvard students have frequented the restaurant since its opening and the response has generally been positive.

“Our executive chef has captured the flavors of the Mediterranean and the freshness of his farm-to-table sources,” Goodwin said. “It’s also quite a learning experience as you read on the back of the menu where the plates come from.”

Marcella J. Park ’19 enjoyed En Boca’s selection of small plates.

“There was a nice ambiance,” Park said. “Small plates meant that I got to try a lot of different dishes.”

—Staff writer Junina Furigay can be reached at junina.furigay@thecrimson.com. Follow her on Twitter @junina_furigay.

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