To celebrate our friend Ludette's birthday, we indulged in tapas, wine and lots of girl talk at Bar Carrera tonight. I just love this place. They have so many great wines at reasonable prices, and the tapas they serve are just scrumptuous. I've blogged before about my undying love for their honey-drizzled salmon, black caviar and mascarpone cheese on a toasted brioche concoction ($6). It is truly one of the most delicious dishes ever. But their egg-in-a-blanket ($6) is definitely a contender for the sexiest-thing-on-brioche award. It's a truffled egg inside a mini brioche canoodling with Serrano ham and melted manchego cheese. I mean, really. I'm helpless against these two.
We also tried some of their specials. I can't remember the specifics but I recall being enthusiastic about the mushrooms on crostinis, and just mildly interested in the egg and garbanzos. That said, every bite of the garbanzo dish was scraped off that plate.
And finally, some very persuasive arguments against going vegan. On the left, pork belly caramelized with juniper sugar and chickpea puree ($6). The pork belly was perfectly tender with a bit of a crunch on the skin. Just lovely. But the dish that blew me away tonight was the plato jamon a la Campagna ($15), which had some delicious 18-month old jamon Serrano and the most sublime mozzarella di bufala that I've had in a long time. Our waitress (who was amazing by the way) told us that their mozzarella is flown into JFK fresh everyday, and is supplied to very high end restaurants around the city. Bar Carrera only has it because the owner is good friends with the supplier. It is just exquisite, I tell you. It is so fresh, light and just the epitome of melt-in-your-mouth goodness.
We also polished off two bottles of Setena ’04, which is a pretty good deal at $32 for the bottle. It's a combination of garnacha, cabernet sauvignon and syrah, with a nice and velvety texture, a long finish, and the flavors of dark fruit and spice. Definitely a great drink to have on a wintry New York evening.
Feeling no remorse after stuffing and boozing ourselves silly (don't be fooled, we doubled up on a lot of these plates), we stopped by Momofuku Milk Bar for some treats. I seem to have converted Cris into a milk cereal-soft serve patron. I seem to have converted myself into a compost cookie lover too. What's not to love about a cookie that has potato chips, butterscotch, chocolate chips, pretzels and coffee in it? That's all my necessary food groups in one cookie.
I felt so guilty after this that I walked 20 blocks home (plus the requisite 5 flights of stairs). But hey, sometimes some food's just too darn good to pass up!
Ok signing off ... hope you had a hump day involving some delicious treats too!
Bar Carrera is located at 175 Second Avenue, New York, New York 10003 and 146 West Houston Street, New York, New York 10012.
Momofuku Milk Bar is located at 207 2nd Avenue, on the corner of 13th Street, New York, NY 10003