I was on Newbury St. the other night for a party, and when it was over some friends and I decided to wander across the street and dine at Tapeo. I've been to Tapeo before, almost exactly a year ago, and remember being impressed by its intimate atmosphere and yummy sangria.
So the two ladies I dined with are two friends that I'm sure I'll refer to a lot, as we dine out pretty frequently together (already wrote about each of them already), so let's give them some names. Dining companion #1, from time at Cafeteria where we had to share the fork, let's call her Skylar (her request; refers to Minnie Driver character in Good Will Hunting--she's a true Boston gal). Dining companion #2 used to waitress with me; let's keep with the Boston movie trend and call her Francis (okay this is a stretch-- it's Jack Nicholson's character in The Departed).
So Skylar, Francis, and I got seated right away; however, our table was upstairs in an area I had not seen before. I prefer the downstairs if you have a choice-- the upstairs has a more gimmicky feel to it-- open and lacking in ambiance. (The downstairs is dimly lit, with low ceilings and dark walls and feels overall much more romantic.)
We ordered a pitcher of sangria and five tapas dishes: duckling w/ a berry sauce, pork tenderloin with a blue goat cheese sauce, vegetarian crepe, boneless pheasant with bacon and serrano ham, and baked goat cheese with tomato and basil. Everything was tasty, but here is my verdict...
Bottom line: Tapeo is often compared to Tasca on Comm Ave in Brighton and to Dali in Somerville, and is probably better well-known than both. However, I think it falls short of these two. I think Dali has much better atmosphere, and Tasca has much better prices. Tapeo clearly rests upon its Newbury St. location whereas the other two, more out-of-the-way spots work harder, and more successfully, to get you to return.