Why Come Here? Attractive crowd, hot spot, solid cocktails and sangria
Right Amount for 2: 4 small plates
Barraca comes from the team behind trendy LES spots Macondo and Rayuela and has several things going for it. The cocktails and Sangria are phenomenal. The waitstaff is good looking, attentive and friendly (a rare trifecta). The space is dark and sexy and occupies a prime corner location on relatively quiet Greenwich Avenue with plenty of windows to gawk at passersby.
These are the qualities some seek out in a restaurant and those are the people Barraca was built for. However, if you’re a foodie or Spanish cuisine aficionado, Barraca will leave you disappointed more than pleased. Despite numerous dishes that sounded great on the menu, nothing was executed at an especially high level. We tried something from most categories (except for the flatbreads) and left unimpressed from a food standpoint. Avoid paella, which has to be ordered for at least 2 (at a cost of $50) and neither of the ones we tried were anything special. Below are my thoughts on what we had:
Pimientos De Piquillo (piquillo peppers stuffed w/ oxtail stew and creamy piquillo sauce) The oxtail had all the richness you hope for, but the creamy piquillo sauce was more “creamy” than “piquillo.”
Mollete De Cordero Con Manchego Y Ali-Oli De Piquillo (sandwich w/ pulled lamb, manchego cheese and a piquillo ali-oli) This is one of the “good on paper” dishes I was talking about. Unfortunately, the bread was too starchy and the lamb was on the fatty side.
Paella Negra (squid ink infused rice, artichoke, monkfish, squid, and shrimp with ali-oli) The assortment of seafood was fresh and well prepared, but it was lacking in spices and the rice just didn’t have that crispiness you want in your paella.
Paella Con Vegetales (artichoke, snow peas, broccoli, english peas, zucchini, scallions, shitake and garbanzo beans) This legitimately tasted like rice and vegetables someone would cook up in a cafeteria.