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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

STICK A FORK IN IT: Casa Romero

Some of my faithful readers may remember an article I wrote last semester about dining al fresco. Which means none of you know what I’m talking about. To recap, I did a brief overview of local Boston restaurants that had fantastic out door seating. Among them, and arguably the best venue for a little open air eats, is Casa Romero in Boston’s Back Bay. Casa Romero may be one of Boston’s best kept secrets for fine Mexican cuisine. It even rivals Sol Azteca, which many believe to be our best south of the border restaurant. In tribute to the upcoming Cinco de Mayo (May 5th) I decided to give UMass the whole enchilada about the Casa. From top notch margaritas to tasty grilled seafood, you’ll be hard up to find any place in Boston that offers such delicious, authentic Mexican fare in such a unique environment.Casa Romero is located in a back alley on Gloucester Street, off of the infamous Newbury Street – what I like to call ‘the place where fashion and its victims collide’. Despite its location, you’ll find no pretense at the Casa. Instead, a relaxed and intimate venue awaits for those who wish to get away from it all. Quite literally, Casa Romero feels like a brief trip to Mexico. Its location is a bit off the beaten path. The door is unassuming, like that of a speakeasy. Once you enter, you’ll find a low ceiling, dimly lit, and highly stylized interior complete with various tchochkes and wall hangings from Mexico. At one point, Casa Romero had only been one room (the main dining room). That was thirty years ago, and now the Casa occupies three dining rooms and a beautiful enclosed courtyard. The courtyard is the prize jewel in Casa Romero’s crown. Colorful flowers hang from the gates and candles illuminate the small tables, making it both inviting and seductive. One may notice the hushed atmosphere at Casa Romero. That is because the restaurant places importance on the experience of dining with company rather than playing distracting ambient music. You see, at Casa Romero you are part of the ambiance. Both tranquil and charming, the environment sets the patron up for an equally lovely meal.Before you begin eating, I strongly advice you to indulge in at least on of the Casa’s famed margaritas ($8). Made from high end tequila and fresh lime juice, the margaritas are out of this world. But let me warn you, more than two and you’ll be feeling like you’re on another planet. Those suckers pack a mean punch. I’ve seen even the most boastful drinkers get tanked to their surprise. I suggest The Classic, with Herradura Silver Tequila, Cointreau, and fresh lime. For those with more exotic tastes, imbibe with the Romerita, a margarita that includes Green Chartreuse. Yummy.Casa Romero has many delicious appetizers to choose from. My favorites are the Chile Relleno($9) and the Ceviche of fresh fish ($8.50). The Chile Relleno is a poblano chile, mildly spicy, stuffed with cheese, coated with an eggy batter and fried. It is served on top of a tasty chipotle and tomato sauce. The ceviche is a must for summer dining. Light and refreshing, the fish are marinated with fresh lime juice and cilantro. They’re perfect for dipping with the Casa’s fresh tortilla chips or simply eating with a fork. Allow me to add that if dipping is your thing, don’t skip the home made guacamole. Though Casa Romero does have delicious enchiladas, I suggest being a little braver with your choice for an entree. There are many selections on the menu, including vegeterian options. Among the highlights, is the Chicken Medallions stuffed with cactus and cheese ($18.50). The Medallions are served in a spicy and slightly sweet poblano sauce. Poblano is a famed gravy consisting of chillies and dark coco. Casa Romero gets their variety of Poblano from the town of Puebla, Mexico. Also delicious is the exotic shrimp stuffed with a seafood forcemeat over a huitlacoche cream sauce ($24.50). Huitlacoche is the truffle of Mexico. A rare and delicious mushroom, the cream sauce boasts a woodsy, savory flavor that is accented by the fresh shrimps and seafood. Despite what one one opts for, one cannot go wrong with any entree.Lastly, Casa Romero has fantastic desserts to finish off one’s meal. I would suggest one in particular but they’re all so good, I wouldn’t know where to begin. With any choice, cap it with a warm and soothing cup of Cafe de Olla ($2), a decaffinated coffee steeped in chamomile and coco. Aw, tranquilo. Than have another margarita and call it a day. Don’t forget to tip the wonderful wait staff.This Cinco de Mayo do yourself a favor and opt for an authentic Mexican tribute by heading down to Casa Romero. You deserve a vacation and there’s no better place to get a taste of Mexico in Boston than Casa Romero. Salut!