Group dinners. At times, they are one of the joys of living in New York. And other times, they are the bane of your existence. If you are in charge of the planning, locating a venue that actually seats 8 or more people is never an easy task. And, if you are simply a guest, it's nearly impossible to escape the evening without forking over an arm and a leg. Never mind, you usually never even get a chance to speak to more than your corner of the table. Oh the joys of group dinners!
Well, the group dinner tale does not always have to end like that. One night in the back room of BarBossa will certainly convince you of this. At first glance, this Brazilian spot appears to be another one of Nolita's cozy ethnic restaurants that doubles as a bar to the neighborhood. Don't get me wrong - the main room is a great area for both drinking and eating. But, it is the private option in the back where they have converted a wine and liquor cellar into public dining that really sets BarBossa apart. The long wooden table can seat 8-12 people comfortably - and since it is your own space in the restaurant, you are free to cause a little commotion or move about as much as you want. While you feel like you could actually own the space, you are still treated with the utmost care by a warm and proud waitstaff.And whether you are seated in the group throne or up front at the bar, their Brazilian cocktails are the way to start off the night. I also highly recommend sharing a few of their starters. The provoleta - grilled provolone with pico de gallo - as well as the baked fresh crab are served with toasted bread. If you haven't had enough bread or cheese (two items I can never get enough of), their mini rolls stuffed with cheese are addictive. The overall menu has more of a Latin American appeal than purely Brazilian - offering Portuguese, Chilean, and even Central American delicacies. No matter what part of the region you order from, you will enjoy a flavorful, hearty dish - and all at a low cost. The menu options range from curries to salads to sandwiches to regional specialties. While there are some very solid vegetarian options such as the eggplant lasagna, this region is truly known for their meats - and when in Rome... I highly recommend the feijoada - a typical Portuguese stew made of beans, beef, and pork and served with rice and kale. Another great meat choice is their grilled steak served with baked polenta and roasted tomatoes.
Your meal at BarBossa will be a festive one - and this is true whether you have a real reason to celebrate or not. It will be a joyous one - and this is certainly true as you enjoy the company of each and every person you started the night with. It will be an affordable AND tasty one as you will enjoy eclectic cuisine, drinks. and a bill at the end of the night that will actually make you question if you ordered any drinks (even if your head the next day speaks otherwise). Yes - these are the joys of group dining!