The interior of En Boca, which opened its doors in Harvard Square earlier this month.
After months of anticipation, the new Mediterranean small-plates restaurant En Boca recently opened on Holyoke Street. We at Flyby decided to empty out our pockets to give it a try, so you know what to expect should you ever want to try it out.
At first, we were impressed by the service. When making a reservation over the phone, the receptionist asked if my party had any dietary needs, to which I appreciatively responded, “Yes, my friend has a gluten allergy!”
Upon arriving at the restaurant, we found that the receptionist was a bit too friendly—despite telling him that we were underage, he gave us a three-minute spiel on all their fancy wine options. He continued to comment on the weather and began talking about how his ex-girlfriend never saw snow until she was 25, at which point we started wondering how it was that we had already learned so much about our receptionist’s personal life.
Our waiter—cordial and mildly snooty—recommended that everyone at our table order three to four plates of food. Given that each one-ounce plate cost an average of $17, the two of us weren’t particularly keen on spending $136 on one meal. We decided to split three dishes between the two of us: a Tuscan kale salad, lamb meatballs, and a wood grilled bavette.
Flyby was not impressed with the Kale salad. Or the splattering of sauces.
We were first served the Tuscan kale salad. We found it to be a little bitter, not too flavorful, with an unappealing arrangement of sauces.
The meatballs were our favorite dish of the three, but still nothing to write home about.
The meatballs and falafel in tomato sauce was our favorite dish out of the three, yet it was by no means exquisite. Given that we were paying $14 for three balls of meat and three balls of falafel, our standards were high and our expectations unmet.
The bavette was...better than the sirloin tips we've been getting during the strike? We guess?
Finally, our waiter brought out the bavette, which is just a bougie term for steak cut from a cow’s abs or buttocks. The dish smelled putrid and was by no means visually appealing. Once again, it was tolerable, but we were not at all impressed by the flavor.If you’re looking for a new place in the Square to eat out, we at Flyby wouldn’t recommend En Boca, especially given the average college student’s budget. The amount and quality of food we received were not worth the costliness, and neither the service nor the ambiance made up for it. You could get roughly the same amount of (much more delectable) food at Felipe’s, Tasty Burger, or Chipotle six times over for the same price, so we’d advise you to just stick to places you’ve already tried and tested.