I get the most satisfaction discovering places that not only have awesome food and ambience, but are also fairly easy to book for last minute dinner plans. This is hard to come by in New York city. Barmarche arrived as a miracle for my friend Ashley’s birthday last weekend, and I’ve since been a huge advocate for this sleeper. Not only did they accommodate 12 of us at the height of Saturday night mealtime, they seated us at a well thought-out square table as opposed to a long, awkward rectangle so commonly found in restaurants trying to conserve space. Our group, which was a diverse mix of people, could therefore communicate easily with multiple sides of the table, and we were all set up to share delicious food. The servers, though incredibly busy, were timely with our orders and constantly checking in to take drink requests.
Our party shared many tasty appetizers: popcorn shrimp, guacamole, bruschetta, and my favorite, almond stuffed dates with crispy bacon and blue cheese. The mix of sweet and salty and crispy and soft was so perfect that we had to request another two orders to sustain our unstoppable craving.
While we overloaded on appetizers, we still had room for the overwhelming main course options, all reasonably priced. Barmarche is known for its “taquitos”, which are essentially tacos on slightly smaller tortillas. The fried bass taquitos were a vibrant, fresh twist on heavy Mexican food, and the shrimp risotto was creamy, hot, and filling. My branzino was incredibly crispy, and the perfectly light, pre-night out meal to pair with my spicy margherita.
Barmarche is the perfect prequel for a night on the town. Conveniently located in the center of Soho, the Lower East Side and Nolita, it is positioned closely to a wide array of bars, and with its wide range of international food and cocktails, it’s a fit for all sorts of crowds. I wouldn’t say the food is breath-taking, but it’s thorough, creative, and well-rounded. Highly recommended for group dinners (especially for a younger, yet sophisticated crowd) – in fact, I hope to have my birthday there in May!
Location: 14 Spring Street @ Elizabeth