Thursday, February 12, 2009

Bar Blanc

So this will be the true test for my readers. Back to the days of no photos! Let's just say that sometimes, it's just not the time or place to be whipping out the camera at dinner. My only regret after dining at Bar Blanc last weekend was that I hadn't taken pictures. But, I soon realized that should not be an excuse for keeping a new, great spot from others. In fact, I really enjoyed having a meal and not having the pressure of continuously taking out my mini digital camera only to capture mediocre images of excellent food. So, bear with me, turn up the imagination, and try to envision the cool, sleek interior of the West Village's Bar Blanc.

The name is a true testament to its interior - white walls, white chairs, and white couches take up this long narrow restaurant with a white, marble top bar up front. The darker lighting is a perfect balance to the bold white-washed interior, creating a very chic, yet comfortable atmosphere. Bar Blanc is a great spot for a fun night out. The bar is extremely appealing whether you are enjoying a fancy cocktail or even an entire meal. But, whether you end up at a table or remain on a barstool, I recommend exploring their specialty drinks. They definitely catered to my weakness - Hendrick's Gin - serving it in their pamplemousse (grapefruit) martini. The cocktail list even offers their version of an Old-Fashioned, my mother's personal favorite. I am pretty sure the drink list appeals to those outside of my family too - there will be an aperitif enticing you in no time.

If your thirst isn't driving you through their front door, then maybe the very generous recession special - a 3 course $35 prix fixe menu available daily or on Friday and Saturday from 6 to 8 pm - will answer to your rumbling stomach. This is a great deal given the high quality of both the food and setting. And, almost everything we ended up ordering (we just happened to be there in the few hours that this deal doesn't exist) was offered on this special menu - a prix fixe rarity, as most are usually limited to the cheaper, less appealing options. Overall, Bar Blanc's menu offers inventive, New-American cuisine focusing on seafood, yet still offering an array of delicious dishes appealing to all palates. For starters, the seared Maine day boat scallops with curried carrots, house cured lardo, and topped with bibb lettuce sauce were delicious. Last weekend, they offered a special of oysters served with a champagne and shallot sauce - a very fresh and light complement to some of the richer dishes. For the main course, if you are needing a break from seafood, the butternut squash risotto with wild mushrooms and shaved pecorino is a great choice. However, my favorite dish of the night, not surprisingly, was a fish - seared black cod served with wilted arrowleaf spinach, celery root, fennel, and saffron sauce accompanied with a salt cold brandade. Not only was the fish perfectly prepared, but the combination of vegetables brought out all of the right flavors.

Bar Blanc is the best of both worlds - an attractive bar and a top-notch restaurant. I recommend making a night out of it - taking advantage of its dual personality especially on cold winter nights when the simple thought of making two stops already causes goose bumps. If my words have not been enticing enough, their website should do the trick. But, I promise an evening there will surely seal the deal.

Bar Blanc
142 W 10th St (near Greenwich Avenue)
New York, NY 10014
Phone: (212) 255-2330
FOOD RATING (Out of 5):


ECR said...

Even without the photos, your words are so vivid and enticing. I can't wait to try this place very soon!

brubis said...

This place really sounds great. I could order anything from this menu and be completely satisfied. I do not know what "house cured lardo" is, but being a native of the South, anything with the word "lard" in it is bound to be a hit! I, like your mother, am a big fan of the Old Fashioned, so that would be my choice for cocktails in the winter.