By Hillary Latos
While the concept of the Japanese Izakaya seems to be the latest trend in the culinary front, Bara is the middle ground between East and West combining the creativity and casualness of a Japanese Izakaya with the romantic flair of a Parisian wine bar. As New York City is known as the world’s greatest melting pot, Bara is a prime example of the success of fusing the best of multiple cultures.
Housed in a gem of a space, the ambient lighting offers a cozy hue against the exposed brick walls and open air bar. Executive Chef and native New Yorker Ian Alvarez has had a multi sensorial and multi cultural culinary experience spending time in the kitchen at Spuntino, Momofuku, and French Louie where all of his experiences are culminated at Bara with an inventive and creative flair to favorite dishes. Start with the mackerel tataki, lightly dressed napa cabbage salad, sweet crab chawanmushi or steamed manila clams in enoki broth. Specialties of the house include the grilled flat iron steak with bok choy and bara Worcestershire, tea smoked duck breast, juicy fried chicken with 3 sauces, roasted black bass with garlic ginger tare and spicy cucumbers, and buckwheat noodle with oxtail and prawn.
Exotic libations span the best of both worlds with a creative bespoke cocktail program that are as potent as they are delicious. A perfect after dinner drink is the Astrid’s Cup with bourbon, coffee, chai spice and lemon. An Asian twist on the margarita is the Koji with mezcal, sake, honey, lemon , and ginger. A creamy dark and stormy rendition is the Santiago with light and dark rum, lime, jaggery, rice milk, and angostura. And an Asian version of a Long Island Iced tea is the ‘knock your socks off’ Kuro Mart with black sesame vodka, shochu, and elixir combier.
As a wine bar they offer an array of well curated wines and sparkling Normandy ciders that are predominantly French based with a few Austrian and Italian selections. Equally as impressive is their extensive sake selection that really embodies the fusion between France and Japanese cultures.
58 East 1st Street
NY, NY 10003