Thursday, July 19, 2012

Rosa Mexicano - more Mexican in the Seaport

Nick was super excited when Rosa Mexicano opened in Boston - when he lived in DC it was one of his favorite restaurants.  The Boston outpost opened in the Seaport area recently, and naturally his enthusiasm rubbed off on me, so when a couple of friends suggested grabbing a bite to each there I was totally in.  Turns out, however, that the menu at the Boston location is based on their Miami location, not exactly the restaurant Nick was familiar with.

When I arrived, I noticed the water feature (something common among all locations) with diver statues going down the vivid blue wall.  I was a bit taken aback by the mix of the blue tiles, the shocking pink decor and the dark wood.  Even though the space is very large, there did not seem to be too many tables.  On this evening, we had a reservation and were immediately sat at our table.

I spotted the sangria on the menu and for just under $10, I thought the price was pretty good compared to some of the other drinks on the menu.  When it arrived and I was given a pitcher with approximately two and a half servings, I was even more excited!  The sangria was tasty, a little on the sweet side, but still good.

This being a Mexican restaurant, I had to insist that we get some guacamole.  Prepared table-side, you can request the amount of spice there.  We went for medium, but he gave me some extra spice to add since I always want things super spicy!  I was happy I had the extra peppers, because the guacamole was a bit bland otherwise.  I was looking for a bit more flavor, but the added heat helped kick the guacamole up a bit.  The cute bowl it was served in didn't hurt!

Preparing the guac...
Finished guac and side of spice!
Rather than ordering an entree, I went with the Ceviche Sampler and a side of the Esquites (Corn served off the cob with ancho chili, cheese and crema.)  The sampler came with Ahi Tuna (with chili de arbol, orange supreme and watermelon), Diver Scallops (with burnt orange-chili vinaigrette, grilled pineapple, poblano peppers and hazelnuts), and finally the local fish of the day (with scallop emulsion creamy avocado and crispy Serrano ham).  The fish was good - fresh and plenty of flavor with a good mixture of fish and other fun ingredients.

Ceviche Sample
The side of corn had a lovely flavor with the mix of cheese and chili, but the creme was a little heavy for me.  I had to go fishing for some the corn kernels after the first couple of bites.

Corn (off the cob)
My friend S got the Skirt Steak Taco "skillet style," served with shrimp in a tomato-chipotle sauce, an arugula salad and handcut garlic-epazote fries.  The steak was sourced from Niman Ranch.  The fries and salsa seemed to overpower the meat a bit but the flavors did come together.

Skirt Steak 
M was debating among a few meal choices but ultimately decided on the Lamb Tacos (she is super into lamb after the supper clubs!).  The tacos were filled with Roasted American lamb, marinated cucumbers, pistachio-habanero purée and mint salsa verde.  M really enjoyed this dish and thought there was a lot of yummy things going on in the taco.  The lamb was well cooked and is not something you see in tacos generally, so we liked that!

Lamb Tacos
I went into Rosa Mexicano excited, but felt a little underwhelmed when leaving.  Maybe with all the hype I was expecting to be blown away, but that was just not the case.  I've talked to a few people who have been to other Rosa Mexicano locations and loved their meals there but felt the same way about the local version.  The food was good, but pricey for what it was.  With the likes of Temazcal and Papagayo so close by, Rosa Mexicano may have to step up their game.

Rosa Mexicano on Urbanspoon


  1. I love table side guac! Hopefully they just have some new restaurant issues and will iron them out.

  2. I have not been to any of the seaport mexican restaurants. i think I need to step up my game! but I might bypass this one in favor of the others...

  3. I might still go just for the tableside guac and the $10 sangria pitcher hehehe. Hopefully they will step up their game soon!

  4. Maybe they're still working out some kinks. I've never been to one, so I'll have to check it out-no expectations-some time soon.

  5. I have never been, but heard very similar sentiments as you express here. Great (and useful!) review.

  6. I love the idea of lamb unusual!

  7. I loved it when I went to the NY one over ten years ago. Hopefully the Boston one will improve

  8. I haven't been here yet either but you're right that they have some big shoes to fill with such great Mexican food in the area. I do love myseld some fresh guac though!


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