Location: 132 Montague Street, Brooklyn
Best Dish: Though we would happily eat our way through a swimming pool of their decadent wild mushroom sauce, the star of the evening was the bone in short rib, a carnivore’s dream come true.
Overall: A quaint casual eatery with warmth and charm to spare. Add it to your date night roster or weekly happy hour rotation.
Restauranteur Sebastian Cardona and executive chef Marcelo Lazzarin, the talented duo behind Brooklyn Height’s La Barrita Resto Bar, present a tasty menu of classic Argentine dishes. The meals curated by the duo come straight from Grandma’s kitchen and are prepared with fresh seasonal ingredients. By sharing their passion for the food of their native land, Argentina, Cardona and Lazzarin, hope to vanquish some of the misconceptions surrounding Argentine cuisine. Prior to their big grand opening, we were invited to attend an exclusive private dinner party and explored some of the menus tastiest options. For this tasting experience, dinner was served family style on large platters with guests helping themselves to dishes carefully selected by the La Barrita team.
The evening’s first course was a sampling of appetizers, our favorite was the Polenta del Bosque with wild mushroom sauce. The polenta was cooked well and firm then shaped into delicious triangles smothered in a delectable creamy mushroom sauce.
Next up was a serving of beef tongue. Lengua a la Vinagreta is a preparation popular in Argentina. The tongue was sliced thin and drizzled with a light vinaigrette.
Sausages are popular in most countries, Argentina is no exception. We devoured two versions of sausage the Classic Savory Chorizo and the delicate but Hearty Blood Sausage.
We took a brief siesta from our meat-fest and enjoyed the visually stunning Quinoa Gusto Salad. This uniquely presented salad features red quinoa, juicy plum tomatoes, and avocado in a balsamic reduction.
If you enjoy grilled octopus as much as we do we highly recommend the Grilled Pulpo Salad. The fresh grilled octopus is served on top of potato and tomato salad.
Empanadas are often served as appetizers, but La Barrita serves them up as a main dish. The empanadas here are overflowing with filling and are a robust meal on their own. Like a hand-held pot pie. The beef version on their empanadas is made with premium cuts of tender beef not the usual ground chuck, making it a more indulgent treat.
Next up was the Matambre, a pre-seasoned veal breast. This is the only dish prepared by manager Sebastian. He marinates and slow roasts the breast before slicing and grilling to order. The meat is succulent and melts in your mouth tender. The flesh practically disintegrates upon contact.
After an assortment of scrumptious dishes, we finally had the chance to taste Argentine steak. Argentina is known for its masterful handling of grilled meats, especially steaks. This evening, we were treated to the Costilla Entera, a short rib steak served bone in and carved table side. Any carnivore can appreciate a well-prepared cut of beef but La Barrita treats it like a thing of beauty artfully carving and slicing the tender beef then adding a herbaceous layer of homemade chimichurri.
Some share their culture through song and dance. Some share it with language and customs, but to share the comfort foods of your heritage and recipes prepared by beloved family members is a rare and spectacular occurrence. Sebastian takes this honor seriously and provides a casual inviting space to explore Argentina through the delicious foods that provide sustenance for her people. Chef Marcelo mirrors his enthusiasm by masterfully preparing the dishes from their childhoods. A week in South America may not be in your plans just yet but a little slice of Argentina is just a subway ride away at La Barrita.
Open seven days a week, La Barrita is located in the heart of Brooklyn Heights at 132 Montague Street. The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner Monday through Thursday from 12pm to 11pm, Friday and Saturday from 12pm to 12am and Sunday from 12 pm to 11 pm. Happy Hour is all day, every day at the bar only: $5 beer, $8 well drinks, $9 wine and $10 sangria. Call (718) 596-1800 for reservations and connect with La Barrita on Facebook, Instagram and Yelp.