Whole Hog

By Jolyon Helterman | Boston Magazine |

The squeamish will still find plenty to nosh on at Estragon, the new South End tapas joint decked out in equal shares Spanish bordello and ’30s futuristic café. If that’s you, order the grilled goat cheese, garlic shrimp, and patatas bravas—here, french fries with chunky ketchup—and munch happily while adventurous palates go to town. Better yet, saddle up and join them: After Estragon coaxes you out of your comfort zone with its landlubber tapas, you’re ready for the exotic terrain of grilled baby octopus, braised squid with blood sausage, and foie gras–sea urchin "sliders." Half our group opted to sit out a special of chili-doused pig’s ears, a tasty cross between crispy bacon and chewy pork cracklins. But we reconvened at jamón croquettes—Spanish ham suspended in a béchamel gravy, then fried into crisp, pillowy boules—Seville’s crowd-pleasing answer to biscuits and gravy.

700 Harrison Ave., Boston, 617-266-0443.