Monday, August 18, 2014

Barraca

This post is extremely old. I mean prior to my Spain trip old. But what can I say? I like to post about everything worth posting about. So Barraca which gets mixed reviews all over the internet was chosen as a place for us to gather and talk about the Spain trip. We were still in the planning stages and needed to settle flight, hotel, etc. So as tradition goes, we went to eat the cuisine of the place we were going to visit.
Once we arrived, we were quickly sat at our reserved table. People were being turned away at the door because the wait was too long. I guess that's a good sign, right? It was a busy night but we managed to juggle the papers, books, and food all in one sitting. The waiter even quipped that we should be there to eat, and not to study. Hah! Was it that obvious?

Anyway, here is the recap of the food we had. Above are the gambas al ajillo ($13). Although larger than normal, the shrimp dish was lackluster. There was no abundance of garlicky oil to sop up using the accompanying bread. Actually, the dish lacked the pungent garlic flavor one would expect from this dish.

The pimientos del padron ($9), on the other hand, was a delight. Though the serving was small, it was certainly delicious. Flash fried green peppers topped with a sprinkle of flaky sea salt.
The bruselas ($8) with chorizo was just okay. I think bacon is always not needed when it comes to brussels sprouts. When cooked properly, they're excellent on their own. These were okay. They left a lot of the sprouts whole which led to less charring of the leaves.
The tortilla de patatas ($12) was decent though it lacked the super runny middle that I found so delightful in Spain. However, the eggs were fluffy and the potatoes soft. Most importantly, it was seasoned properly.
The coca del kale ($10) was a surprise hit. The crispy thin flatbread with thinly sliced kale, caramelized onions, raisins, pine nuts, and a mountain of salty, sweet el Mahon cheese on top. Just everything worked here. In fact, I think I might try making this at home.
And now the paella. We started with the De Temporada ($25/person) which had a variety of vegetables like artichokes, brussel sprouts, squash, pork ribs, and chicken. This was pretty good. I really enjoyed the different vegetables and textures.
The Mariscos paella ($25/person) had shrimp, calamari, cuttlefish, monkfish, clams, mussels, string beans, and peppers. This was also good. The various seafood not only graced the top of the paella but the ocean flavor was soaked into the rice as it cooked.
Overall, I enjoyed my meal at Barraca. Although the waiter did forget to put in a couple of our orders, in the end it worked out because we were too full. He was friendly and engaged us. I would go back.

Barraca
81 Greenwich Avenue
New York, NY 10014
(212) 462-0080
barracanyc.com

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