Last night, after watching The Grinch at the Wang Theater, we headed to Tico for dinner. Tico's food has American, Spanish, Mexican, and Southern American influences, which is why we choose it for our after theater dinner. We were early to our 7:00pm reservation yet the hostess had no problem in accommodating us right away.
Our waiter immediately greeted us and offered to explain the menu. Her explanation, although thorough, was extremely long; about 5 minutes long. Needless to say, two minutes into her monologue she had lost our focus. On more than one occasion she suggested we went with Tico's tasting menus. We decided to bypass the tasting menus and choose for ourselves....here is what we had!
To start, our waiter brought us a plate of bread, olive oil, salt, and pepper. The Italian bread was good and very fresh. We would have preferred if the olive oil were dressed. Half way through the meal we asked for more bread, it was perfect to soak up the sauces from some of the dishes we ordered.
As our first dish we ordered Tico's Tender Pork with Spicy Cucumber Tacos. The pork was extremely tender and the spice from the cucumbers did not overwhelm the other flavors of the dish. Yet, we wish these tacos would have been a bit larger; compared to others we've had they seemed small. These tacos were delicious, something we would order again!
Next we ordered a few of Tico's A La Plancha offerings. The first we ordered was the Crispy Pork Belly with onions and mustard. The pork belly was nicely seared; it had a great crunch when you bit into it. Yet, the mustard overpowered the pork flavor when it was dipped in the vibrant sauce.
Our second A La Plancha dish was the Chicken with Spicy Pomegranate. The chicken was perfectly cooked and, once again, the balance of spices was flawless. We had some pomegranate sauce left over and could not resist dipping our bread in it; it was that good!
It is no secret that we are big fans of fried calamari. Therefore, we just had to order Tico's Fried Calamari with Ancho-Lime Aioli. The first thing we must say about this dish is that it is overpriced. For $10 we have had larger portions and better tasting plates of fried calamari. The calamari was unevenly seasoned and could have been crispier. This dish was not the highlight of our meal.
Lastly, we ordered Tico's Bacon Cheeseburger with Homemade French Fries. This burger was perfectly cooked to a medium. The bacon was crispy and the cheddar cheese was faultlessly melted. The brioche roll held all the components together without falling apart. Our only complaint about this dish would be that it could have been seasoned with a heavier hand. The fries were deliciously topped with fresh herbs; James could not get enough of these! Tico's cheeseburger was a great ending to our meal!
Tico delivered a great tasting meal, with friendly service and a cool, open environment. There was everything from large groups of friends, to couples, to families with small children having dinner on a Saturday night. Our only complaint would be the prices, even though Tico serves plenty of tapa like plates, we thought the portions were just way to small for the price tags. However, the flavors of the food more than made up for the prices. Overall, Tico is a great spot in the center of the Back Bay!
For more information on Tico please visit http://www.ticoboston.com/.