Tuesday, August 10, 2010

A Vivabox Tapas Experience: Boqueria [New York]

By: Finance Foodie

This past weekend, I was in an empire state of mind. Yup that’s right – another visit to NYC! It was a fantabulous two days – not only did I get to catch up with two of my best friends, I also got to test out my new NYC Tapas Experience Vivabox – a win/win situation!

A few weeks ago, I was contacted by Sodexo and was asked if I wanted to try out one of their Vivaboxes, which is basically a super cool giftbox that comes in twenty or so themes ranging from a spa day to gourmet at home. Since I knew I was going to be in NYC at the beginning of August, I chose the NYC Tapas Experience Box.

So the creative part (and you know how much I love products with a WOW factor!) of the all the Vivaboxes lie in their two layer bundling. The first layer is a gift in the box that familiarizes the recipient with the theme (i.e. for the Tapas box, it was a bottle of olive oil and balsamic vinaigrette). The second layer is the gift card redeemable for the said theme. Since my set was for tapas in NYC, my giftcard was good for a meal for two (worth $100) at any participating tapas restaurant in the City (the box also comes with a handy guide to all the participating restaurants – including sample menu items and location). After pondering for quite sometime over all the quality choices, I decided to go with Boqueria, a chic and lounge-y eatery located in the heart of SoHo.

Along with Finance Foodie NY correspondent Coco “CO2” Shiao, I arrived on scene around 9pm on Saturday night. After hearing about how popular this place was though friends, I was worried that it could be a long wait (since this place didn’t take reservations) - but we were seated right away. I do want to note that all the tables are pretty close together, so I did get a bit distracted by the table next to us over the course of the night (which was actually ironically useful – as I got to see what dishes were the most popular and being ordered the most). I started off with a peach sangria, their drink special for the summer. This was excellent – fruity and refreshing, an excellent foil to the balmy summer night.

It’s always tricky to figure out the right number of tapas to order, but knowing that both of us get full easily and remembering the hearty dim sum lunch during the day, we decided to order 4 tapas for the two of us, plus a dessert to round off the meal. In the order of most liked to least favorite, the four dishes were:

Arroz de Tomates y Gambas (grilled prawns, crispy bomba rice, heirloom tomatoes, cheese, garlic, basil) My favorite of the night – the gigantic prawns were plump and juicy and the rice had a risotto like texture with the cheese. I loved the crispy crunchiness of the rice, which was perfectly cooked, and all the flavors meshed well together.

Churros with Chocolate Sauce (Dessert course: fried dough covered with cinnamon sugar) I love these crispy with a soft filling Spanish donuts. I thought the chocolate dipping sauce was a bit too rich but the churro can stand alone and be delicious

Calabacitas y Fresas (grilled petit squash, bacon, strawberries, basil). The flavor combinations rocked my socks! The sweet tartness of the mini strawberries contrasted nicely with the bacon pieces. Only qualm was that the grilled squash was as slippery as a snake, and kept slithering off the plate and onto the table (we lost 3 out of the 5 due to the uncooperative nature of the vegetable)

 Bunuelos de Bacalao (salted cod fritters, served with citrus dressing) These deep fried fulsome fish balls were a bit heavy –and rather bland on the inside. The citrus dressing was a bit too tart for my tastes but it did give the fritters flavor.

Salteado de Setas (sautéed wild mushrooms, pork, manchego cheese) Now mushrooms are my favorite food (after lobster and steak), but these mushrooms were aggressively bitter and sour for some odd reason. It’s hard for me not to like a mushroom dish – I think this might have been the first one ever.

Overall, I would say the experience was pleasant (ex-mushroom dish). The service was extremely friendly and attentive, the portions generous, and the price not outrageously high for NYC standards (our meal was about $70 before tip). I probably wouldn’t return for the food, but would definitely stop by for another round of the peach Sangria!
 Boqueria 
171 Spring St
New York, NY 10012
(212) 343-4255
***Giveaway***

Congrats #59! - carrisa
"Movie Experience since I am a movie buff"

Please email financefoodie [at] gmail [dot] com with your mailing address so I can send your prize!

---------------------------------------------------------------

Vivabox has generously offered to give one Finance Foodie reader their very own Vivabox! The winner can chose from the NYC Tapas Experience, NYC Museum Experience, L’Occitane Experience, Movie Experience, Coffee Time or Tea Time.

You can enter up to FIVE times:

1. REQUIRED: In my comments section, tell me you what box you want to try. (I’ve already tried the NYC Tapas Experience, but as a coffee lover, I think the Coffee Time sounds really rad too)
2. Follow Finance Foodie on Twitter (leave a separate comment telling me this)
3. Follow Vivabox on Twitter (leave a separate comment telling me this)
4. Reblog / Retweet this giveaway (leave a separate comment telling me this)
5. Stumble Upon or Digg this giveaway (leave a separate comment telling me this)

Contest ended Wednesday August 18 at 5pm EST. Winners will be chosen via random integer generator on random.org announced on the financefoodie.com site shortly afterwards that night!

Boqueria Soho on Urbanspoon

118 comments:

Fun and Fearless in Beantown said...

Since I'm in NYC several times a year, I'd have to go with the NYC Museum experience!

Fun and Fearless in Beantown said...

Also, I follow you on Twitter @funfearlessbean

Amber said...

I would love to try the tea time experience! It would be almost like going to Russian Tea Room :)
Thank you for the giveaway :)
hurdler4eva(at)gmail(dot)com

Amber said...

I follow Finance Foodie on Twitter - my Twitter ID is @AmberGoo
Thank you for the giveaway :)
hurdler4eva(at)gmail(dot)com

Amber said...

I follow vivabox on Twitter - my Twitter ID is @AmberGoo
Thank you for the giveaway :)
hurdler4eva(at)gmail(dot)com

MOMFOREVERANDEVER said...

think the coffee time

Stephanie said...

L'Occitane Experience please
tvollowitz at aol dot com

abfantom said...

I would like to try the Coffee Time Vivabox.

abfantom at yahoo dot com

sweepmom said...

I would choose the Movie experience.

Sharon Harmon said...

I would choose the Movie Experience! My husband and I love movies!
txgigggles@yahoo.com

Courtney said...

i like the loccitane! thanks for the chance!

vanitizebaby at yahoo dot com

Courtney said...

following your twitter-meandbells

Courtney said...

following vivabox on twitter-meandbells

Courtney said...

tweet

http://twitter.com/MeandBells/status/20974167751

Hachi said...

I'd like to try the NY Tapas Experience! It sounds really great, and I'm only 30 minutes away from Manhattan...I'd love a fun night out to dinner!

lpenoro@aol.com

littlelatina said...

fantastic

Min K said...

The Movie Experience is for me.

Shooting Stars Mag said...

hmm...I'd love the NYC museum. if not that, the movie one. :)

-Lauren
lauren51990 AT aol DOT com

Shooting Stars Mag said...

follow you on twitteR: shootingstarmag

lauren51990 at aol dot com

Shooting Stars Mag said...

follow vivabox on twitter: shootingstarmag

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Sharon said...

I'm way too far from NY (although your description sounded amazing), so I would select the L'Occitane Experience.

Leslie said...

I would love the L'Occitaine experience!

leslieprice79@gmail.com

Leslie said...

I follow Finance Foodie on twitter @lprice79.

leslieprice79@gmail.com

Leslie said...

I follow Vivabox on twitter @lprice79.

leslieprice79@gmail.com

mogrill said...

Id like to try the Movie Experience.Thanks for the chance.
mogrill@comcast.net

Anonymous said...

I'm a fan of the Tea Time Experience.

applejacks18@yahoo.com

The Perfect Bridesmaid said...

the tapas experience sounds incredible but I would also want to try the tea time and museum one.

The Perfect Bridesmaid said...

following finance foodie-perfectbridesma

The Perfect Bridesmaid said...

following vivabox-perfectbridesma

Benita said...

We are definitely coffee drinkers. I'd love to try the Coffee Time.


bgcchs(at)yahoo(dot)com

terri142 said...

I would love to try the L'Occitane Experience.

tderosa142 at gmail dot com

terri142 said...

I follow Finance Foodie on twitter.(terri142)

tderosa142 at gmail dot com

terri142 said...

I follow Vivabox on twitter.(terri142)

tderosa142 at gmail dot com

terri142 said...

tweet!

http://twitter.com/terri142/status/21334039996

tderosa142 at gmail dot com

Kimberly said...

I'd like to try the Coffee Talk!
kirbycolby at gmail dot com

Kimberly said...

I follow you on twitter @Aerated
kirbycolby at gmail dot com

Kimberly said...

I follow Vivabox on twitter @Aerated
kirbycolby at gmail dot com

jsc123 said...

I would love to have the Tea Time Vivabox.

jweezie43[at]gmail[dot]com

jsc123 said...

I am following via Twitter as jlsc123.

jweezie43[at]gmail[dot]com

jsc123 said...

I am following Vivabox via Twitter as jlsc123.

jweezie43[at]gmail[dot]com

Jamie said...

I'd love to try the movie experience.

Jamie said...

I follow you on twitter @lolturtle

Jamie said...

i follow Vivabox on twitter. @lolturtle

Katie R. said...

I like the L'Occitane Experience.

Dancehottie1621@aol.com

jennem said...

Definitely the NYC Tapas experience!
Jennifer, jennem22 at yahoo dot com

jennem said...

Twitter follower as jennem1.
http://twitter.com/jennem1
Jennifer, jennem22 at yahoo dot com

jennem said...

Vivabox Twitter follower as jennem1.
http://twitter.com/jennem1
Jennifer, jennem22 at yahoo dot com

Claire said...

I want to try the Movie Experience box.

kaleidoscopequeen at gmail dot com

chatterBOX said...

Great contest! I would like to try the spa massage package. I could so use it right about now :)

chatterBOX said...

Following Finance Foodie on Twitter

@mb11fb

chatterBOX said...

Following vivabox on twitter

chatterBOX said...

Tweet Tweet

http://twitter.com/mb11fb/status/21418878521

Kathryn said...

I would love to win the L'Occitane experience! I haven't tried their products yet, but everyone says they're so great!

lisagee1234 said...

I would also go 4 the coffeetime as I love good coffee!

lisagee1234 said...

I follow Finance Foodie on Twitter-
lisagee1234

lisagee1234 said...

I follow vivabox on Twitter - lisagee1234

Jennifer Neal said...

YUm that looks delish! I'd pick tapas too :)

Viva said...

Tough choice, but I'd love the L'Occitane Experience.

Carrisa said...

Movie Experience since I am a movie buff

Colengal said...

I would love the L'Occitane experience. Sound wonderful

Derk Thomas said...

Coffee Time. I love coffee but it was a tough choice.

mandala said...

I'd like to try the Coffee Talk experience

mandalarctic at gmail dot com

mandala said...

Following you on Twitter (@mandalarctic)

mandalarctic at gmail dot com

mandala said...

Following Vivabox on Twitter (@mandalarctic)

mandalarctic at gmail dot com

thatlittlehouse said...

I'd definitely choose the L'Occitane Experience!

nblexp at gmail dot com

thatlittlehouse said...

I follow Finance Foodie on twitter c5519

nblexp at gmail dot com

thatlittlehouse said...

i follow Vivabox on twitter
c5519

nblexp at gmail dot com

Jinxy and Me said...

I would like the L'Occitane experience!

Jinxy and Me said...

I'm following you on Twitter (I'm @ThriftyJinxy).

Jinxy and Me said...

I'm following Vivabox on Twitter (I'm @ThriftyJinxy).

Crystal said...

I think that the VivaBox's sound so cool!
Great review and giveaway:)
I am a Tea Lover and the Teas Sets look really great!!

cyclona66(At) aol dot com

~*~lilshuga2001~*~ said...

COFFEE TIME ALL THE WAY!

Jayfr said...

I'd go for the coffee experience.

kakihara said...

I would love the door to door gourmet.
kakihararocks@gmail.com

intime said...

coffee time intime@myself.com

intime said...

follow financefoodie1 on twitter intime111

intime said...

follow vivabox on twitter intime111

Courtney said...

I'd love to try the Tea Time gift box!! We love tea and I love their options. Thanks for a great giveaway!

annasmama0702@gmail.com

Courtney said...

I'm following you on twitter (annasmama0702)

annasmama0702@gmail.com

Courtney said...

I'm following vivabox on twitter (annasmama0702)

annasmama0702@gmail.com

Courtney said...

Tweet:

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annasmama0702@gmail.com

Courtney said...

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annasmama0702@gmail.com

jennifer57 said...

tea time

jennifer57 said...

Follow Finance Foodie on Twitter @jennifer57

jennifer57 said...

Follow Vivabox on Twitter
@jennifer57

Tracey said...

I'd like the Movie Time Vivabox.
traymona[at]aol.com

FDP 4 Life said...

i would like the coffee time vivabox
susansmoaks at gmail dot com

FDP 4 Life said...

following you on twitter @fdp4life
susansmoaks at gmail dot com

FDP 4 Life said...

following them on twitter @fdp4life
susansmoaks at gmail dot com

Chisum's Crew said...

I would love the Tea Time Experience. trinitygsd at yahoo dot com

kngmckellar said...

I think I'd choose the Movie Experience.

kngmckellar said...

follow you on twitter as kngmckellar

kngmckellar said...

follow them on twitter as kngmckellar

kngmckellar said...

http://twitter.com/kngmckellar/status/21489711952

tweeted

purango said...

I want to try the Movie Experience. garrettsambo@aol.com

Anonymous said...

I would love to try the L’Occitane Experience!

amycastellano74(at)hotmail(dot)com

Hotsnotty2 said...

I would love to try the Movie Experience, thanks!

Hotsnotty2@hotmail.com

susan said...

I would love the movie experience. suelee1998 @gmail.com

kathy pease said...

ID love to try the movie experience :)

susan1215 said...

L'Occitane Experience

s2s2 at comcast dot net

susan1215 said...

follow you on twitter susan1215

susan1215 said...

follow Vivabox on twitter susan1215

MAC Mom said...

I like the movie experience. Thanks for the review.
jesskaufman at hotmail dot com

MAC Mom said...

follow you on twitter @Macmomof3

MAC Mom said...

Follow Vivabox on twitter @Macmomof3

Pamela S said...

I would pick tea time. I think it's fun that you can get a tea set with it including a tea pot. Love it! Thanks so much! pamelashockley(AT)aol(DOT)com

CarrieAnn13 said...

I would definitely choose the Coffee Time

Bakersdozen said...

I would choose the L'Occitane. vidomich(at)yahoo(dot)com

Jeanine said...

i'd pick the movie one, just because i'm not near nyc.

Jeanine said...

twitter follower neenee_is_mee

Jeanine said...

i follow vivabox on twitter neenee_is_mee

Heather said...

I would choose Tea Time. Ahhh, I'm about to have relaxing mornings again!

Heather said...

I follow Finance Foodie on Twitter - choochoo428

Heather said...

I follow vivabox on Twitter - choochoo428

Heather said...

I stumbled - choochoo428

Heather said...

I retweeted!
I'm choochoo428

Miranda Ward said...

The movie time experience

Erica C. said...

I'd love the Movie Experience one!

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