It’s all about the Jamón Ibérico Plate at Bar Basque

I had just recently added Bar Basque to my list of Must-Eats…. actually, I think I went a day or two after doing so…. What can I say, I don’t have the patience. I have an ever-growing list of places to go to and I need to get thru it asap [altho I DO have to admit that I’ve been putting off Scarpetta.. until now ;D In fact I think I’ll do a duel between Scarpetta and my dinner at Convivio – TBD]

BACK to the main topic… I tend to ramble easily

The Chef, Yuki Fujinaga, had me at poached egg at Taste 2010 [post about it coming soon, I promise]

— insert dream sequence back to Taste 2010 –

— end dream sequence, fade out music —

Soon after being seated I was greated with a cute little ball of something something. Smelled great.

Some sort of Potato Amuse-Bouche….

I don’t even like potatoes all that much but it was cooked perfectly, one bite, snap and pop of the skin that gave way to a creamy, just enough potato, middle. It was even topped with some sort of potato salad like mayo-y stuff… something I normally steer away from but YUM. Oh Bar Basque, you got me to eat potatoes…. What a tease, I was starving and they were being slow with service….

The bread basket DIDN’T come first, in fact they didn’t give us bread until we asked for it a few times after our appetizers were all out…. boo… I’ll blame it on the newness of the restaurant… if the food wasn’t so good I wouldn’t been kinda peeved… not that I *need* the bread or necessarily *wanted* it but if all the other tables are getting it, then I think I need it too….

Plato Mixto “Fermin”

Fermin Plate – Tasting of:
Jamon Serrano Fermin [Fermin Serrano Ham – dry cured]
Jamon Iberico Fermin [Fermin Iberian Ham – free range, dry cured]
Jamon Iberico de Bellota Fermin [Acorn-Fed Fermin Iberian Ham – free range, dry cured]

I will forever come here for this. In fact I could make a dinner of ordering a whole board of the two different Ibericos… and a nice bottle of red… ;D It was something that our waiter suggested that was some sort of great red wine from the Basque reason. Highly recommended and supposedly went well with all the dishes….

Aceitunas picantes fritas y crujientes

Spicy Fried Spanish Green Olives – stuffed with anchovy

Who would’ve thunk that I would eat fried olives. They had me at anchovy… unfortunately there was NO anchovy flavor AT ALL :[ But the good part is, they just have to call them spicy fried olives and I’d still eat them. Plain. Sans-anchovy.

Navajas

Simply Grilled Razor Clams – Txakoli olive oil emulsion

They were a bit on the undercooked side – so slightly fishy. Which is a shame since I absolutely ADORE razor clams ever since Toro and I know Rick makes some mean razor clams over in Chicago’s Primehouse.

The most ridiculous tiny “clam shell” holder…. The funniest part is that they brought this to the table before the clams got here… before the jamon even reached the table. They were so slow with food and service that I was asking them what it was for after awhile….I’d never think I’d say this, but it’s cute but totally impractical.

Camarones y Garbanzos al Ajillo con guindillas, choricero y espellet
Sautee of Spicy Garlic Shrimp & Garbanzo Beans – Basque chiles

This was delicious – not even heat to call it spicy but the flavors were amazing. I was completely fixated on the garbanzo beans…. especially since I wasn’t really touching my sadly undercooked razor clams [yick, I like raw and cooked but not in the middle, it’s like bipolar clams]

Arenque en escabeche, ensalada de verduras de temporada, vinagreta de txacoli

Mackerel in Escabeche – seasonal market vegetable salad, txakoli vinaigrette

I love raw mackerel.. but I rarely get it when I get sushi [not sure why, maybe I’m boring and just like sticking to the classics] but this was delicious. It came with a side of different colored beets salad. Great, refreshing and crunchy. If this was fishy like the clams I would’ve been SO super sad.

Vieiras en fundi tocino, mantequilla coliflor trufada y papada
Diver Sea Scallops – truffled cauliflower, lardo, crispy jowl

See that big tower of a white tree? That’s a thinly cut raw cauliflower. YUM. I LOOOOVE cauliflower. Cooked, Steamed, Raw… anytime anywhere even though too much gives me stomach cramps – I eat it anyways… when has anything stopped from eating – except nausea…. the scallops were perfectly cooked but I have to say that the star that stole the show were the little truffled cauliflower florets with a little burnt to it. YUM~ For once the pig wasn’t the rockstar.

Lubina entera al Txakoli y emulsion de aceite de oliva virgen
Grilled Whole Seabass – txakoli wine, fennel, artichokes, crispy jamon

Perfectly cooked… the side salad was a bit oversalted and greasy for me… the I adore fennel and artichokes… the jamon was crunchy and great but too overpowering. The fish itself was awesome. I love whole fish…. I’m not sure why people are still scared of seeing heads on their food… I love it [especially shrimp heads, YUM!]

Piquillos a la Casa Julian de Tolosa

Slow Baked Piquillo Peppers – in the style of Casa Julian de Tolosa

This was a little bowl of heaven. The peppers were SO flavorful, I was just gobbling it up. It was creamy and melted in your mouth but also had a nice firm skin still [not in a bad way, but not in a gross mushy way either, I don’t like it when things are falling apart – unless intentionally and specific dishes]

I decided I wanted the two side dishes and an additional entree while finishing up the scallops. What can I say…. I have a lot of room in there *pokes belly button*

Arroz cremoso “Calasparra” con chanterelles y tomates en conserva

Creamy “Calasparra” Rice – chanterelle mushrooms, preserved tomatoes

This was genius. Anything that is creamy and rice-y [haha minus Fast & the Furious riced out cars] and with mushrooms CAN’T be bad. My biggest fear – as usual – is overly salted, or snuck in goat cheese/overly stinky cheese [haha] But I was paying more attention to this rice dish than the main entrees….

Cochinillo crujiente con risoto de papa y boletus, lechugas bebe
Crispy Suckling Pig – potato & mushroom risotto, baby lettuces

It was good. The skin was crisp but it wasn’t amazing. There was a slight gamey taste to the meat so i wasn’t a huge fan. The risotto was amazing though – note: POTATO mushroom risotto. YES. POTATOES. And I ate it up like I was breathing air. It was a tad on the overly salty side but I couldn’t get enough. Risotto, bread, risotto, bread :] See, it worked out in the end.

The most amazing version of Pain Perdu
How do I explain?!… it was DENSE but soooo fluffy and light. I could have this french toast morning, noon and night and feel like I wouldn’t gain an ounce [I’d probably gain 20lbs by the end of the first week] This was left for my “last bite” I always have a “last bite” featuring my favorite taste of the round of eats.. this was it.

“Bacon from Heaven” – like a richer, creamier, denser Egg Tart [Dan Ta]Although this DID come in at a close close close second. It was a 蛋挞 without the crust…. and just… omg… not a flan but… just heavenly. Bacon from Heaven, yes, but NO bacon is in it. Just creamy rich happiness. Super eggy taste [if too many yolks in desserts scare you – stay away, I’m sure this contains a lot… but then if yolks scare you, come here first so I can bitchslap you]

The last one was some chocolate cake.

Chocolatey. Hazelnutty. Nothing new…. I think this was the only thing that wasn’t finished. And I think I wanted it probably because of the name [which I can’t think of or find online so whatevz] It was good but not so good that I gobbled it up….. I can only take SO much chocolate… especially such dense chocolate…

The awesome hallway in the front….

Bar Basque is fun, RED, quirky [although still a bit fresh – they need to work on some service kinks] but I wanna come back and throw a party here.. the bar/lounge area is pretty swanky as well.

Bar Basque
839 Avenue of the Americas
(btwn 29th & 30th St)
New York, NY 10001
646.600.7150

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  1. […] I had just recently added Bar Basque to my list of Must-Eats…. actually, I think I went a day or two after doing so…. What can I say, I don’t have the patience. I have an ever-growing list of places to go to and I need to get thru it asap [altho I DO have to admit that I've been putting off Scarpetta.. until now ;D In fact I think I'll do a duel between Scarpetta and my dinner at Convivio – TBD] (sigue) […]

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  2. […] the most HORRIBLE razor clam experience.. I’m glad Toro can still have me loving it… I always loved their razor clams… […]

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