With the Tribeca Film Festival in town, dinner and a movie took on a whole new meaning. We loved checking out the movies, seeing the red carpet, and listening to why the directors/producers created their movies. But finding a nice spot for dinner proved a little more difficult as movie-goers (and the regular Momofuku fans) crowded into Momofuku Ssam. Instead, we checked out Bar Carrera and unexpectedly found both the nicest server in NYC and a good selection of Basque-style tapas.
We quenched our thirst with a pitcher of crisp Cucumber Sangria ($16) and a couple glasses of Spanish red wines (Setena $9, Perlat $10). We started with a couple of simple, but flavorful, salads. The Tomato salad ($6) had goat cheese, arugula, and sherry vinaigrette while the Green apple and Walnut salad ($6) came with arugula, idiazabal cheese (a nutty sheeps milk cheese), and cider vinaigrette.
The Smoked salmon ($6) with caviar, honey, mascarpone cheese on a mini brioche looked like a savory cupcake. The Patatas bravas ($5) were just roasted salted potatoes with a smoked paprika aioli. The Cheese plate ($15) featured Spanish cheeses (with a mini baguette) like a goats milk manchengo and a blue goats milk cheese along with an apricot spread. We did enjoy the earthy "Egg in a Blanket" ($6) which was a truffled egg in a mini brioche with serano ham and manchego cheese.
Happily mixing sweet and savory in our mouths was the tender Pork belly ($6) that was caramelized with juniper sugar and served on a chick pea puree. Jamon wrapped dates ($5) with marcona almonds was also a favorite for its salty jamon serrano (like prosciutto) and sweet dates.
And since we couldn't get into Momofuku Ssam, we opted for dessert at Momofuku Milk bar. We got the cereal milk soft serve ice cream ($4.15). It had a grainy texture and eerily tasted like that sweetened leftover milk in the bowl after you finish your cereal. We also tried a taste of zucchini ice cream, which was weird and salty. If you like minty chocolate, the grasshopper pie ($5.25) will freshen your breath. It has a filling of both mint cheesecake and brownies. The crack pie ($5.25) is, of course, sweetly addictive. It's made with a toasted oat crust and a gooey butter filling.
Both restaurants provided a perfect movie-like ending.
Bar Carrera is located at 175 Second Ave (btwn 11th and 12th Sts) in NYC.
Momofuku Milk bar is located at 207 Second Ave (entrance on 13th St) in NYC.