Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Tico - A welcome addition to Boston

Finding a restaurant that 12 girls can all agree on can be tough enough, but then having to hope the venue will actually accept a reservation for 12 girls is even harder!  This was the daunting task that Tico helped my friend AM solve when trying to organize an evening out for a group who had been to a Bridal shower during the afternoon.

Tico is a brand new restaurant from Michael Schlow, who is also the chef and owner of other great Boston establishments like Radius, Via Matta, and Alta Strada.  Tico is located in the old Cottonwood Cafe space in the Back Bay.

Our reservations were not until later on Saturday night (9:15) and the place was packed when we arrived.  Being a big group, we actually did not have to wait too long for a table, but it gave me enough time to have a good look around.  The space has been completely transformed: there are some cool light fixtures that create a great atmosphere while maintaining the Spanish/Latin flair, and in the middle of the restaurant is what appears to be a false wall that is decorated with a blown up photo where the shutter speed is set to nothing so that you can almost  feel the movement and color without it being overwhelming.  Elsewhere there is an assortment of glass tiles covering the walls and richly designed ceilings.  The overall effect is welcoming and fun.

Unfortunately, they did not have their drink menu ready, but I had heard about a number of great margarita options, so after having the server list a bunch off for me, I settled on the blood orange margarita.

Blood Orange Margarita
While the flavors of the margarita were excellent - the perfect combo of sweet and sour, and I could actually taste the tequila - I didn't really get any blood orange flavoring, which was a bit disappointing.  I can imagine that would have added to the drink significantly.  Other people in the party stuck with traditional margaritas and other more basic drinks.  All reported back that they were tasty.

While waiting for our food, the server gave us some nice thick bread with some dipping oil.

While the bread was good, the oil was just plain olive oil.  We were all hoping for a flavor oil to add a little pop to prepare us for the rest of our dinner.

Being in such a large group, but still wanting to be able to try many different plates, three of us got together and decided to experiment! 

Mushroom and Cheese Quesadilla with Black Truffle Salsa
The quesadilla was pretty good.  Unfortunately by the time it made it to our table it was a bit cold, but the black truffle salsa was great and gave the dish such a flavorful touch.

Then we moved on to tacos...

Spicy Shrimp, bacon and avocado

Tender Pork with spicy cucumber
Both of these tacos were yummy!  I would highly recommend using the slice of lemon/lime on side as it really brought out the flavors of all the difference components.

“Creamed” Corn with Bacon, Chiles and Thai Basil
Having read all about the corn from the various reviews, I knew this was definitely on the list to get, and being with a corn lover did not hurt.  The corn was amazing and all the build-up was completely warranted.  The bacon added such a nice smoky flavor.  I would highly recommend this dish to anyone. 

Tuna Tartare Tostadas with lime, cilantro and serranos
The tuna tartare was good, but without adding the cucumber to the bite, the tuna was lacking a bit.

I would definitely recommed trying out Tico.  If you are going with a group (and if you can share) plan on ordering a bunch of small plates so you can try out a lot of different types of food.  The atmoshpere makes for a fun evening that works for any occasion!

Tico on Urbanspoon


  1. Tico is such a fun place! Glad you enjoyed it!

  2. I love that corn! I would definitely go back just for that.

    I'm so impressed they accommodated 12 of you. It's definitely a good place for large groups!


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