Steve Cuozzo is shocked to find hip diners ("young women in capes arriving after 10 p.m.!" Oh my) and an honest semblance of a downtown restaurant vibe at the new uptown Boqueria. The straightforward tapas menu put together by Catalan-born chef Marc Vidal, he says, is largely executed well:
Pimenton, smoked Spanish paprika, lend a dusky mood to grilled octopus and squid. The plancha and pimenton similarly flattered pato con lentejas, Hudson Valley duck breast served with luscious puy lentils. Even better was raya al ajillo — skate plancha-seared to a silken texture, in a pan brimming with toasted garlic, crunchy almonds and capers and sparked by piquillo peppers.
While the restaurant "breaks little new ground in the emerging Spanish landscape, it's revolutionary for the Spanish-deprived Upper East Side." Verdict: Two stars.