|The new bar at Taberna de Haro in Brookline|
Hansen, who lived in Spain for eight years, earned a Masters in Spanish and Latin literature and her sommelier title while living there, and returns annually. She has never seen corn or cilantro on a Madrid tapas menu.
As a result, the new bar that features $4 tapas will never include corn - an item often seen on other Spanish menus in Boston like Toro. “Corn is an American food - North and South,” says Hansen. “In Spain, corn is fodder for animals, and is rarely eaten except in the Canary Islands.” Ditto for cilantro. “Not one flake of cilantro.”
The recent renovations showcase a Spanish influence too: the new dining room and bar feature tiles, two paintings were commissioned from an artist in Spain and belt-driven handcrafted ceiling fans are not from Spain, but can be seen in old cafes there. Many of the ingredients, such as anchovies, are imported as well.
So, if you’re looking to get lost in a Spanish world, belly up to the bar and take your pick: a canapé of in-house smoked Spanish mackerel on tomato-rubbed bread, frisée and garlic mayo; a toothpick skewered with anchovy, olive, pickled onion and a pickled Basque hot pepper and many other options. Just don’t ask for corn.