Have you ever wanted to take a trip to “Flavortown”? If so, you’re now in luck. Restaurateur Guy Fieri and Big Night Entertainment Group (BNEG) have partnered to open Tequila Cocina, a Latin American-inspired restaurant at the entrance of TD Garden.
Fieri partnered with the group before in creating Guy’s Foxwood Kitchen + Bar in Ledyard, Conn., but Tequila Cocina is his first venture in Boston.
“We knew that Guy Fieri was the perfect partner for this restaurant because not only is he an incredible chef, but he’s a fantastic entertainer who embodies the high-energy we are looking to create for those guests who will visit Big Night Live,” said Ed Kane, the head of BNEG, in a promotional statement. Big Night Live is BNEG’s forthcoming music hall at The Hub on Causeway.
The restaurant’s decor and ambiance is a mix of street-type murals of flowers painted on pieces of sheet metal and contemporary accents, with skulls in the style of those used to celebrate Día de Los Muertos scattered about.
The bar, with its polished marble countertop, remains the main draw of the room, with illuminated bottles of 100 types of tequila glinting like newly polished gemstones, emphasizing the name of the restaurant. The tequila menu is not only the only drink menu, of course. The restaurant focuses on an eclectic selection of Latin American flavors that create margaritas such as Fresca with ghost pepper tequila, or the Chipotle Paloma cocktail that incorporates Jarrito Grapefruit soda.
The bright colors around the room create a vibrant ambience, with the bartenders continuously making drinks and the wait staff bustling from place to place to serve customers. The demographic of the restaurant consists of a wide swath of people, from elegant party-goers to hockey fans and everything in between. Bar seating, regular tables, and plush ruby-colored booths—which are more isolated from the direct bar area—are all available.
Once seated, diners can enjoy the main event: the food. The menu consists of classic Mexican dishes with unique twists that give the restaurant its distinctive Fieri flair. For example, one of the restaurant’s more popular dishes is the Trash Can nachos, served with a metal shell that, when lifted, reveals a mix of Guy Fieri’s famous cheese sauce, chorizo, and beans.
In addition to a wide variety of salsas and guacamoles, the restaurant has a menu solely for fish and large plates. It also offers a wide variety of tacos, which pack a lot of punch in small bites. The Al Pastor Taco intertwines the salty and spicy pork with the sweetness and acidity of the Pineapple-Serrano, creating a delicious contrast all wrapped in a fluffy taco shell. The Barbacoa Cauliflower surprisingly is even better because of its more even balance of spices, demonstrating an inclusive dish that’s a delicious option for a vegetarian crowd.
If you are satiated with the savory side of the menu, but hope to satisfy your sweet tooth, the restaurant also offers a well-rounded dessert menu. With everything from tres leches cake to flan, Mexican-inspired desserts are prevalent. The churros in particular are delicious—crispy and cinnamon sugared on the outside, but fluffy on the inside. Paired with a dark chocolate sauce and a casera cajeta sauce that tastes like dulce de leche on steroids, the churros are a classic dish done to perfection.
In terms of pricing for the meals, the drinks are typically $15 or more if they are specialized drinks, with the regular beer and wine hovering around the $8 range. The appetizers are around $8 as well, and tacos are about $6 each. The small plates are around $16, while the larger entrees are $38 and up, but they are usually shareable. In regard to desserts, all are priced the same at $12.
While the meal may vary in pricing, the lively experience that Tequila Cocina affords is priceless. The energy of the restaurant, which welcomes a variety of experiences, emerges in the food, creating a new Flavortown just for Boston in Tequila Cocina.
Featured Images by Rebecca Speer / For The Heights