Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Barça 18


rexreed
 Share

Recommended Posts

  • 4 weeks later...
I tried to get a reservation for November third..  They had a 6:45 and a 10.. Outrageous..

They hold a number of covers open for walk-ins, but I'd suggest arriving early to count on a table, so it may not be any better than arriving ten minutes late for a 6:45 reservation. It would be interesting to hear about the wait for a table at various times on various days.

We were there the other night and here's what Bux posted, or at least as much as is reasonable to repost here.

New restaurants are fraught with difficulties and rarely deliver food or service on the level they should or will in a few months, but we ate very well and had excellent service at Barça 18 the other day. All in all it seemed like smooth sailing and a welcome addition to the city's dining choices. ...

While the food is easy to recommend, purists should be aware that authenticity is not the long suit. ...

Desserts were another high point, ...

WorldTable • Our recently reactivated web page. Now interactive and updated regularly.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

There's a paella that showcases lobster and shrimp, one that uses squid ink to turn a usually golden affair darker and one that throws in the whole typical array of fishes and meats.
Filet mignon is cooked on a plancha, as the menu spells out. Rabbit is cooked on a slate.
On the tapas portion of the menu, some of what the kitchen does is simple or traditional or both. It lightly fries tiny green peppers and serves them with Maldon sea salt. It presents marinated anchovies with hearts of Romaine lettuce.

Chefs Eric Ripert and Stephen Hanson, of Le Bernardin and Vento respectively, present the culinary version of the Odd Couple -- a coupling that works wonders in the style of Spain.

Barça 18 (Frank Bruni)

Discussion relating to Le Bernardin can be found here.

Click here to view a thread on Vento.

Related discussion regarding Mr. Bruni and his style of reviewing, and the New York Times star system can be found here.

Soba

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I went for a light lunch last week. Garish and loud were my first impressions. Good wine selection, though. I drank a glass of Xerolo from Catalonia--nice and unusual offering.

I ordered patatas bravas and clams. Patatas Bravas were like ore ida potatoes fresh from the package with an okay alioli and spicy sauce on top. Tia Pol's bravas blow these away.

Clams were decent, but also unspectacular.

My feeling is that this is a large, chain-like restaurant trying to cash in on the trend towards things Spanish by bringing food that in New York is only served in a few small restaurants to a much larger audience. They pack in a lot of people here.

Admittedly I didn't sample anything close to the entire menu, so I may be wrong. But what I did sample doesn't make me want to go back.

A few years ago, before Casa Mono and Tia Pol, this place might have been acceptable as the only venue to try this kind of food. Now it's just lame.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Tried Barca 18 for Sunday brunch. It was not bad, if underwhelming. I really like a lot of the other BR Guest restaurants (Blue Water Grill, Dos Caminos) so I had high hopes for this one too....maybe too high?

We started with the "Bacalao Coca," or salt cod pizza, which turned out to be small lumps of salt cod (not the paste I associate with bacalao), slices of red pepper, olives, and surprisingly bland manchego (manchego usually has a wonderful salty, nutty taste) arranged on top of a cold round of fried dough. There's nothing to hold it on to the dough, so the toppings kept sliding off...whoops!

Next up: mr. alacarte had the mushroom, cheddar & herb omelette (he pronounced it OK, although it had to be sent back first round because it wasn't an egg-white omelette -- but that happens virtually anywhere).

I had the tortilla espagnola, which is sort of like a slice of omelette with potatoes, asparagus, and --unfortunately --blood sausage. Too bad it's not available made to order, because the tortilla was good except for the sausage, which was sweet and reminded me of the Passover meatballs my grandmother used to make.

It was also painfully obvious that the service kinks are not yet worked out. The apps and entrees came out at the same time; the appetizer arrived cold; long waits for drinks as well as for bread; our waiter was totally clueless about everything; and the corporate suits from B.R. Guest were clearly present on the floor, making the waitstaff (and me) nervous.

Maybe I'd go back in a few months when the menu is (hopefully) revamped and the service is smoother. It wasn't terrible but I'd rather go to Rosa Mexicano next time.

edited to add: we had no problem at all getting a seat. At 2pm on a Sunday the restaurant was maybe half full.

Edited by alacarte (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

To the best of my knowledge, bacalao in Spain can refer to both dried salt cod and fresh cod. The paste you are familiar with is likely brandada de bacalao a relative of the French brandade, although recipes I've read are very different. As for coca, I have to admit, I really don't know what it's supposed to be like and wasn't enthralled with the idea of cod fish and manchego cheese. Somehow, I recall an hors d'oeuvre of coca someplace in Catalunya and wasn't stirred by what I recall as a cracker with toppings.

I assume mr. alacarte ordered an egg white omelette and the server didn't deliver one. Are you saying restaurants rarely get that order correct?

Was the blood sausage sweeter than other blood sausages? I"m wondering if it was the seasoning or if it may have had lots of onion in the stuffing.

I'm trying to remember our tapas, which we all shared. There were excellent cod fish fritters, a very nice dish of octopus with red and yellow peppers, and some fried squid. The squid was cut in rectangles rather than the more commonly found rings. For me the squid was the least interesting of the dishes, although I had no fault with it. I enjoyed my black "paella," as I wrote, although it didn't particularly remind me of Barcelona or Catalunya or even Spain. I think the food is more interesting at Casa Mono where it's so much harder to get a table. Perhaps we lucked on what we ordered, but we'd go back. My guess is that coca sounds better than it tastes however. We were with someone known to the house. Our server was on her toes. We ordered tapas and only after we finished those did we place an order for main courses. I get the sense that it may be permissable, or even expected, for tables to just order rounds of tapas or share the paellas.

Three out of our four desserts were excellent. One, I thought, just didn't work as well as it might have sounded, even though it was the one the waitress suggested.

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

To the best of my knowledge, bacalao in Spain can refer to both dried salt cod and fresh cod. The paste you are familiar with is likely brandada de bacalao.

That makes sense -- brandade is what I was thinking of. Actually, I think brandade would have worked better on the pizza, it would have helped the toppings stick to the pizza dough!

  I assume mr. alacarte ordered an egg white omelette and the server didn't deliver one. Are you saying restaurants rarely get that order correct?

I'm saying that it can happen at any restaurant, so I don't fault Barca for that. The important part is that they took it away and replaced it with the correct order, and did it quickly and with a good attitude. I think the attitude is the important part of this transaction!

Was the blood sausage sweeter than other blood sausages? I"m wondering if it was the seasoning or if it may have had lots of onion in the stuffing.

I've had blood sausage before, though I hardly consider myself an expert. I'd say it was definitely sweeter than what I've had before. Is it supposed to be sweet? I was expecting something salty/tangy, closer to a traditional sausage flavoring.

I didn't detect much onion in the tortilla, so I do think the sweetness came from the sausage.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm with you on suspecting that brandade would work better for me as well on a coca.

Attitude can be everything, or at least enough to cover other faults. Recovery is often more important that the original faux pas. Recently, a hostess three feet away from us, let two drinks slip from a tray. The drinks hit a vacant table ten inches away from ours. The glasses broke. Liquid went flying. No one got wet, thankfully, but it was a sort of minor disaster in a packed brasserie. In about the time it took for the drinks to hit the floor, runner, waiters, a manager and wine guy attacked the mess with mops, towels and a new place setting with the kind of precision that wins auto races in the pit and without regard to who on the staff was wearing a suit and who had an apron. My wife and I sat there impressed at the service, with nary a thought of why it was called into play.

I was referring to onions being a large part of the blood sausage stuffing. I've never thought of blood sausages as being sweet, but they are rich and sometimes seasoned with clove, nutmeg, ginger or cinnamon. That combination evokes a sense of sweetness. Onions too could make it sweet.

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

Bob Lape awards two and a half stars to Barca 18 today:

"Spanish soul food" is how eminent chef Eric Ripert describes the casual fare he devised for Barca 18, the new dining dynamo lighting up Park Avenue South.

The intriguing new partnership of chef Ripert, Le Bernardin's owner-chef, and Steve Hanson, restaurateur-hotelier extraordinaire, evokes superlatives.

....

Chef Ripert's culinary team, led by executive chef Brian O'Donohoe, fuels the conviviality factor with 17 hot and cold tapas ($5 to $12) that ring true to their roots.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

If my meal last night was any indication, Eric Ripert will be scrambling to get his name dissassociated with this place.

A few of the tapas where passable, but you could tell by the insistence that we place our entree orders right away that the goal of the place is to soak their diners. If it wasn't obvious from the programmed waitress, then one look at the ridiculous wine list would be enough.

We have a restaurant that serves serious spanish food, Casa Mono, just a few blocks away. Why didn't Steve Hanson give us what we could use, a lively restaurant with dozens of tapas and a roster of wines under $50?

And yes, the fish entree was overdone.

Edited by Azula10 (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I had hoped Azula10 just experienced a bad day at the restaurant when I decided to return, but

. . . after the second visit, I find it harder to recommend the food. The paella lost its freshness. The portion seemed meager and the shell fish seemed over cooked from what I saw. I ordered the rabbit this time and found it anything but crisp or juicy. It arrived in a broth too thin to coat the meat. It's listed on the menu as slow cooked, so I didn't really expect crisp, but it should either have been slow cooked longer or roasted for a shorter time. Actually the rear leg wasn't badly done, but it too should have come off the bone more easily. The loin was just tough and not easily carved from the bone. It was, as one of our companions noted, "nothing special." It could have been an off night, or it could be that they're cranking out the courses with little care. With six people, we got to try a larger range of Tapas. These held up quite well and so far we've found no clunkers. We wanted to try the tortilla with blood sausage, but they were sold out. The "Fondue" was off the dessert menu. The only dessert I tasted this time was the Crema Catalan, deconstructed into a sundae of sorts with ice cream, caramel and custard foam. I found it exceptionally pleasing.
© 2005 WorldTable Inc. Reposted with permission.

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
Barça 18 is a restaurant at war with itself. It wants respect. It also wants hordes of preening young professionals fresh from the office and deep into their stubborn "Sex and the City" fantasies.
That pizza-like lobster dish, called a coca, was a special, but the regular menu had a similar, and similarly terrific, coca with salt cod. Fried potatoes had two sauces, a spicy one with paprika and a cool mayonnaise.
Braised short ribs and filet mignon were fine and dandy, but no restaurant these days can wring too much distinction from short ribs and filet mignon. (Possible exception: Café Gray, but those are some phenomenal short ribs.)

Barca 18 (Frank Bruni)

One star. That can't be good. :hmmm:

Soba

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

This place was not nearly as bad as I was expecting from a) the less than enthusiastic reveiws and b) other BRG properties, to say nothing of the hoardes of trender wannabees crowding entryway bar. The noise level was not as deafening as at similar spaces, and the food was more passable than I anticipated -- but not more than passable. I find it hard to believe Ripert has actually set foot in this place.

Details of our meal would be kind of pointless and not very interesting. Everything was decent, the chacuterie platter particularly so. The salt cod fritters were way too salty for my taste. The white sangria was quite pleasant, and the Rioja we ordered was admirable. The fish entrees were severely overcooked and mushy. The crème catalana and the other dessert were forgettable.

What exactly it is people get out of these restaurants, I don’t know.

Food, glorious food!

“Eat! Eat! May you be destroyed if you don’t eat! What sin have I committed that God should punish me with you! Eat! What will become of you if you don’t eat! Imp of darkness, may you sink 10 fathoms into the earth if you don’t eat! Eat!” (A. Kazin)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's on Park Avenue South. It's co-owned by Steve Hanson.. Its called Barca 18 with a funny c... do you need me to spell it out for you???? Of course it's awful! Let Mr Ripert make the money he deserves and please don't hold him accountable. Every great chef in this city now has associations with absolutely horrible restaurants. Here's a clue how you know your favorite chef has sold out.... is Jeffrey Chowdorow a partner? Stephan Starr? In the Meat packing district? Is the word "lounge" or "global" or "tapas" anywhere in the press release? Was half the budget blown on a waterfall? Do any sports heroes frequent? You've been warned!!.....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...

Ate there last night, enjoyed the dinner v. much. Tapas were fine - particularly liked the marinated mushrooms. I had the herb encrusted tuna, which was quite good - perfectly seared. We ordered several desserts & shared - I loved the vanilla foam with cinnamon. No complaints from me.

Edited by H. du Bois (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 9 months later...
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...