Friday, July 2, 2010

NYC - Bar Carrera (East Village)

Bar Carrera was my first introduction and the beginning of a lovely infatuation with 2nd Avenue and East Village.

My cousins and I really stumbled on to it by chance, after finishing our treats at the Momofuku Milk Bar, we wandered around the corner and all day my Aunt had been fantasizing over the thoughts of tapas. So we're walking along and lo and behold, I see a sign for tapas and Spanish food!

I also happen to notice the place is Michelen star recommended, which gives me even more inclination to quickly usher everyone in.

We are greeted by a very friendly waitress (maybe even slightly over-friendly), but immensely helpful and accommodating.

I apologise now for all my blurry photos, the place was very dimly lit, gave a beautiful mood and bright enough to read the menus at least, but even my poor 50mm lens was struggling with the light!

The way Bar Carrera worked was that you looked at the menu and just wrote down on the paper how many pieces you wanted of each tapas, next to the item. However, since the restaurant was so quiet (we were hungry early!) we just asked for everything from our waitress. They also had additional specials on a chalkboard, which was present outside of the restaurant to lure in people passing by, and inside of course, for our reference.

Can't go too wrong with a sangria in a tapas place can you? This sangria was slightly different to the ones I had before, it was made with more strawberries than usual, giving it a much sweeter berry taste.

Or even two sangria's? This one was a white sangria (obviously!) made with cucumber, very refreshing and definitely recommended.

We ordered a lot of tapas (there were 5 of us!) and they were all so delicious, so I'm just going to go through them all and highlight those which were really spectacular or interesting!

Jamon serrano.

To the left, blood sausage with mushrooms and to the right shrimp with chorizo (shrimp is such a weird word...give me my prawns!). Both these dishes were quite loved.

Vine ripened tomato salad. (Gotta get your greens in!)

White peach gazpacho, this was so delicious, cool, light and refreshing, but sweet as well. It came with some croutons and parsley oil.

Smoked salmon on cream cheese, with caviar and drizzled with honey. I have to say, the honey made all the difference, the sweetness really came through and gave it an interesting flavour.

Fingerling potatoes with spinach, trout roe and garlic cream. This was lovely, the potatoes were seasoned perfectly, were hearty and rich. The dollops of garlic cream was also packed with flavour and really complimented everything.

When I saw this on the specials menu I knew I just had to try it at least!

Black pudding with bitter chocolate (so it's a bit like a pate), baby onions and citrus. This was so interesting, the chocolate was very subtle but really added to the richness of the black pudding, the onions gave it texture and broke through some of the richness to lighten it a bit. Although entirely bizarre, it all worked marvelously and was possibly one of my favourite dishes of the night.

Eggs in a blanket. Amazing comfort food, what more needs to be said?

Pork belly bocadillio

Chorizo bocadillio

More pork belly! Both the pork belly dishes were beautiful, succulent and just melted in your mouth.

We of course, had to have some sweets to finish off as well, so we got the chunks of belgian chocolate, a lovely mix of dark, milk and white. They were kind enough to give us two servings as well!

And I can't remember exactly what this was, strawberries and walnuts and honey on a bagel. I only had a small bite of this but it was quite sweet.

At the end of the night, 5 happy and somewhat drunk Asians, rolled out the door. As I've said multiple times to my friends, I'm kind of glad you do have to walk around everywhere in New York!

Bar Carrera
175 2nd Ave
East Village

Bar Carrera on Urbanspoon

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