Sunday, December 9, 2012

Saturday Splurge: Barbes (Manhattan, New York)

Image courtesy of
I'm a gypsy in the worst way. I've lived in... (let me count)... 12 different places in 4 years! That's enough to make anyone tired. In the place before last (yes, I think that's the one), I resided on the corner of 36th Street and Madison Avenue in a very charming building just steps away from the Empire State Building, Grand Central, Herald Square... and dangerously close to the Korean fried chicken place in Koreatown (it's probably for the best that I moved).

Also very close to me, across the street to be exact, was Barbes. I was so close to this restaurant that I'm fairly certain their diners could see straight into my bedroom window. While most people would find this unsettling, I felt nothing but affection for this place. Every single time I'd been there in the past, I was treated like a queen... they greeted me with smiles, took my coat, even pulled my seat out for me! Now that will make a girl feel special!

Recently it hit me that I hadn't been to Barbes in FOREVER and that was just unacceptable. Is this how you treat your friends, Lauren? Really?!? So after (not breaking any bones) ice skating at Bryant Park with Adam, we concluded date night at Barbes. 

It was P-E-R-F-E-C-T. My favorite waiter was there. We were seated immediately. The lighting was just right. The space was as cozy as I remember. And let me tell you, the food was unforgettable. 

Barbes is a Moroccan-French restaurant, but manages to fuse the two together beautifully. We started with a nice (and reasonably-priced) bottle of Malbec. The intention was to warm up my toes after ice skating. 

...I'm happy to report that it worked.

For my entree, I chose to forgo my normal fare of brochette de merguez and try the kefta tagine instead. And I must tell you, a fine choice it was, as the tagine was just what I wanted - ground lamb balls, French green peas and Moroccan spices in a light tomato sauce. Sometimes I have to throw my vegetarian tendencies to the wind and really indulge. The lamb balls were not a waste of my splurge.

Adam went for the lamb as well, though he ordered his in the form of a shank, with onions, raisins and cinnamon over orzo. If I had to pick one dish that embodied the coming winter season, it would be this dish - such bold flavors coming together to create a true masterpiece. I had more than a few bites. 

Listen, maybe I'm partial. They've always been good to me, so good actually that they served us two glasses of wine and two glasses of champagne on the house just because 'it was the holidays' (or so he said).

Really though, Barbes = Love. Stop by if you're in the neighborhood!

19-21 East 36th Street (between 5th and Madison)
New York, NY 10016

No comments:

Post a Comment