Archive for July, 2010

I so enjoy walking into the warm masculine Art Deco environs of Estragon, a Spanish tapas restaurant and bar here in Boston’s South End. After passing through the classic Deco gold-pattern wallpapered vestibule, guests are greeted by this  golden feathered half-lady of the night.

Golden half-lady

I’m often also greeted as I enter by co-owner Lara Gavigan, who carefully composed this dramatic and welcoming space perfect for relaxing with friends over tapas and wine. The black and ivory parquet floors draw you into this long room with its deeply colored meld of decorative lighting, metal sculpture, framed art posters, wallpaper, and fresh flowers. The result is earthy and sensual, with occasional dashes of spice.

Middle dining section

Depending which part of the restaurant you are in, the overhead light fixtures are by turns traditional or elegantly floral, and wall-mounted sconces are contemporary takes on Deco themes. The front dining section holds a pinkish-white Alice-in-Wonderlandesque banquette, with skyrocketing backrest. The middle section’s wooden dining tables have glass tops with a layer of decorative patterned paper beneath them, each one a little different from the next. The rear section, separated from the dining areas by a see-through book shelf, has low marble-topped tables and cushy, curvaceous settees covered in florals and leopard prints. A black ceiling and black sheer curtains create a cozy, womblike effect.

Front dining area

Rear lounge area

Wall sconce


Lounge lamp

By the way, just click on any of these thumbnails to view them larger.

Orchids on bar

Ladies' room

Fresh lush flowers add flair and emphasize the romantic. The framed wall art – a mix of Spanish graphic art posters, prints of sensual paintings and photographs, a Vintage American film poster, a eight-piece portrait of artist Salvador Dali, and a mirror composed of vertical mirror segments – complement the rich warm tones of the various wallpapers.

My mention of wallpapers wouldn’t be complete without a stop in the ladies’ room for a look at this gorgeous design in oranges, golds, and blacks.

It was challenging deciding which of the many photos I took of Estragon to include in this entry. I’ll leave you with just a few more of my favorite scenes:

My purpose here is to show you the lovely Spanish visual feast at Estragon, but by now you’re no doubt wondering, “How’s the food?” It’s terrific! Madrid native Julio de Haro (co-owner with Lara Gavigan) offers a versatile and flavorful menu of Spanish dishes and tapas. And the hospitality here can’t be beat.

Estragon is at 700 Harrison Avenue in Boston’s South End.


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