As much as I love the quaint cobblestone streets in the West Village and the glitzy nightclubs in Meatpacking, I typically gravitate towards the East side on any given night. As a previous East Village and current Kips Bay dweller, this is a habit of convenience and one that I try to break whenever I’m given the chance. Sometimes I just need an extra push.
I jumped at the chance to try out Barrio 47’s brunch menu when they invited a few of my girlfriends for a meal on the house; if not for the stellar West Village location, but also the appealing mix of Spanish, American, and Italian-inspired fare at the eatery. I was joined by Jen and Kathryn, two babes both gainfully employed at the fabulous Bergdorf Goodman, the luxe Fifth Avenue department store, with equally fabulous taste.
Barrio 47 is tucked away at the intersection of 8th Avenue and Horatio Street. Although it has a somewhat generic facade outside, the restaurant opens up to a gorgeous, bright space with colorful exposed brick and a grandiose fire-burning oven.
I was a bit worried by the empty tables at 1 p.m, but realized that Barrio 47 caters more to the late brunch crowd when every seat was full by our departure hours later. The hostess also informed us that Barrio 47 is a bustling neighborhood spot during happy hours and on the weekend, and dancing on the bar is not an uncommon sight on a Saturday night.
After discovering my penchant for extremely spicy cocktails and tequila, our friendly server recommended the aptly named El Diablo drink to start. Drinks are rarely up to my high spice preference, but she rightfully assured me that El Diablo is served with a punch. I loved every last burning sip of the cocktail, expertly mixed with housemade habanero, vanilla bean infused tequila, agave nectar, and Cointreau with a spiced salt rim.
Throughout the afternoon our server sent out a variety of his concoctions behind the bar; standouts included the Tamarind Dark & Stormy, sparkling sangria, and Hibiscus Mule. We loved the fresh ingredients and inventive infusions, which were a refreshing departure from standard mimosas and Bloody Marys.
That being said, Jen started her afternoon of day drinking with Barrio 47’s Bloody and said it was the best Bloody Mary she has ever had. High praise indeed! She loved that it did not contain horseradish and was obviously made fresh in the kitchen.
We were excited to gab over some drinks and munchies so we ordered up a variety of starters. It was the weekend so carbs obviously didn’t count, thus truffle fries, patatas bravas, and mac ‘n cheese were the first dishes to grace our table. All of these starters were winners.
The truffle fries were crispy, salty, and well-seasoned, with just the right amount of truffle. Truffle can easily overpower my palate so I’m thrilled when a chef can strike the perfect balance.
It’s pretty tough to mess up mac ‘n cheese, but this elevated version went above and beyond the standard dish with the inclusion of tasty Merguez sausage, a Spanish speciality. We were all fighting over the last few bites of cheesy goodness.
The patatas bravas reminded me of American home fries topped with a tangy aioli. The dish could have used some more aioli, but our server promptly brought us a bevy of dipping sauces to accompany our starters.
This was completely brought upon ourselves, but resulting from our indulgence at the beginning of our meal, we weren’t totally enthusiastic when our main dishes arrived at the table. We mustered up a faint whisper of an appetite to dig into our steaming entrees.
Jen recently traveled to Israel and grew fond of Middle Eastern dishes. Ordering the shakshuka was a no brainer, especially after our server gave it a ringing endorsement. The dish was chock full of veggies, but she felt as if some of her favorite ingredients were lost among the tomatoes.
Since we loved the Spanish sausage in the mac ‘n cheese starter, I went with the Marguez sausage hash as my main course. This hearty dish included poached eggs, roasted Brussels sprouts, fresh jalapenos, and butternut squash. The entree was rich and full of veggies, but a tad heavy for my taste.
Katelyn’s lobster cake Benedict easily stole the show as our collective favorite entree. The lobster was fresh and plentiful dressed with a zippy habanero and cilantro hollandaise. It didn’t hurt that the addicting truffle fries were served on the side. This is a must try!
We spent the good part of our afternoon at Barrio 47 only eventually rolling ourselves out of the restaurant once the pre-dinner crowd arrived. We worked off our food hangovers with window shopping and brisk walking through the West Village for the rest of the day.
The Bitches say: A-. We overstuffed ourselves on the creative cocktails and decadent starters and left Barrio 47 with a happy buzz and full stomachs. Expect fresh libations and great company at this funky neighborhood spot.
47 8th Ave.
New York, NY
Barrio 47 is open for brunch on Saturdays from 11:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. and on Sundays from 12 p.m.- 3:30 p.m.