A Townsman Alum Is Cranking out Tapas in Charlestown
An established Moroccan brasserie in Charlestown reemerged last week with a new name and concept: in the former Tangierino space, Madera 83 is a modern, Spanish tapas bar dishing out shareable classics with a twist, care of former Townsman chef de cuisine Matthew Leddy. It hasn’t completely relinquished its Moroccan heritage, though: The subterranean hookah bar is still going strong, and keeps the Tangierino name.
Leddy is a six-month chef consultant with Madera 83 owner Samad Naamad, who opened Tangierino more than 15 years ago. Leddy had worked with Townsman owner Matthew Jennings for eight years—including Farmstead in Providence—and it was time to move on and “create my own opportunities,” he says. He got connected with Naamad; the restaurateur had shuttered Tangierino in June, and was in the process of renovating the interior and developing a Spanish tapas concept, Eater Boston reported.
“Coming from Morocco, he’s visited Spain many times because of the location,” Leddy says. “He wanted items people recognize, staples of Spanish tapas restaurants in this area. I took that and put a little twist on some of it; it’s in my nature to make it a little bit of my own.”
Many of those are subtle updates: Using roasted garlic instead of raw, and adding a sprinkling of dehydrated olives to classic pan con tomate; or adding pickled dates to his tortilla de patatas.
“It creates some uniqueness in that fairly simple dish,” Leddy says.
The menu—check it out in full below—is a lengthy list of charcuterie and Spanish cheeses, pintxos, cold and hot small plates, and some larger dishes either to share or for the guest who wants an entree. Nothing is priced more than $26, though Leddy has continued many of the relationships with farmers and other producers he developed while at Townsman and Farmstead.
“This is a family neighborhood,” Leddy says of Charlestown. “It’s a very cozy setting—we want to make it a place people want to come back to, and not out-price anyone.”
The bar program features more than 30 Spanish wines, and some new Spanish-inspired cocktails. Tangierino, the downstairs hookah bar, also offers tapas: Guests can order from Madera 83’s full menu, minus any pork dishes, and there are also downstairs-exclusive vegetable, chicken, and lamb rib couscous dishes.
Madera 83 is open daily at 3 p.m. for snacks, and the dinner menu kicks in from 5-10 p.m. Pintxos, charcuterie, and cheese comprise the late-night menu until midnight. Saturday and Sunday brunch begins November 9, and lunch will debut November 16.
83 Main St., Charlestown, 617-242-6009, madera83.com.