A tapas restaurant out of the ordinary
TEXT: KRISTINE OLOFSSON | PHOTOS © FELICIA YLLENIUS
This trendy tapas and pinxos haven in the heart of Stockholm is true to its name, Boqueria. With inspiration from the buzzing market in Barcelona with the same name, and a wide range of high-quality tapas on offer, this is more than just a restaurant. With a diner, a bar and a plaza that during the weekends merge into a club, Boqueria is the perfect hangout spot and ideal for people watching.
“Boqueria is a living concept, a Spanish tapas bar out of the ordinary, where people come together over food and drinks. It’s all about the concept of sharing small portions – ‘raciones’ – and hanging out and having a good time,” says Napolyon Surer, owner of Boqueria. “The atmosphere makes you feel like a home away from home, and whether you want to enjoy hot or cold tapas, such as pulpo frito, paella or charcuterie, in the restaurant, or sip a gin and tonic in the bar in the plaza, this is the hottest place to do it.”
Inspiration from near and far
Napolyon himself has a long and passionate background in the restaurant business. “I started doing the dishes at my father’s restaurant as a teenager and worked my way up, learning the hard way what really makes a restaurant successful,” he says. With fresh ingredients directly imported from Spain, and a touch of local, seasonal products, the tapas, plates and pinxos at Boqueria offer exciting and unexpected taste combinations. “During the mushroom season, we may serve a carpaccio with chanterelles, or a brunch dish on crystal bread topped with chanterelles and truffle,” Napolyon explains. “We try to work as much as possible with seasonal products, since they come with the best flavour and quality.”
The inspiration for the menu is collected during his many regular trips across Spain to gastronomic hubs such as San Sebastian, Madrid, Bilbao and Barcelona. Accompanied by other chefs, he tries to experiment with different dishes and ingredients. “It’s always been important for me to stay up to date, to improve and bring fresh tastes to our guests,” Napolyon elaborates. “What keeps me going is the contact with the guests. When they appreciate the food and the service, it’s been a successful day, and I know I have a good night’s sleep ahead of me.”