230 Fifth Avenue
Greg and I checked out Playa, Barrio's new younger, flirtier Latin American sister space, on Sat night, and it totally rocked. I give it a (mostly) big, fat, thumbs up.
Spencer Rothschild and partner/chef Adrian Leon are the boys slash brains behind Park Slope fave Barrio on Seventh Ave, and Playa (along with the adjoining Cabana Bar) seem to round out their Latin lovin BK empire handily.
Best of all, while the restaurant is in "previews," everyone enjoys a 15% discount that's automatically applied to your bill!
Here's what we ordered:
*Bonfire Bowl cocktail - tropical rum punch/flaming volcano (serves 3-4)
Ok, our adorable hipster waiter told us that this served 2, though the menu says 3-4. I was feeling ballsy, and I liked the idea of my drink arriving on fire, so I thought we would try it. HOWEVER, it *was* srsly strong. Way too strong for an ocassional (read: pussy) drinker like myself. I guess I was hoping for something a bit more fruity/frothy/girly. It arrived in a massive bowl and would def be fun to drink with a group, but I couldn't really handle it and we abandoned ship after a few sips (sending a shout out to the waitress who joked that she wouldn't let us leave until we finished the whole thing--we suck).
*Pan de Bono - basket of homemade, warm Colombian cheese bread
ZOMGS was this good. I could have eaten like 3 or 4 more baskets.
*Pollo Skewer - chili lime chicken skewer
Greg: "It was a-w-e-s-o-m-e!"
*Reina Pepiada - Venezuelan Arepa with chicken and avocado
This was probably my least favorite dish, though I think that's also because I didn't quite realize what it was. It ended up being more of a traditional chicken salad type Arepa with the chix and avocado mixed up in some sort of mayonaise-y type dressing. In my mind I was expecting more of chicken fajita type sitch with grilled pieces of chicken, tomatoes, onions, avocado, etc.
*Hamburgecitas - Angus sliders/guajillo ketchup/sweet potato fries
I'm a total sucker for sliders. I intended to order something more latin-y, but I caved at the last min and ordered the hamburgecitas. I'm glad I did cause they were really delish: two mini burgs served on Portugese rolls with lettuce and tomato. At this time of year, I often get gross, inedible tomatoes, but these were devine. The guajillo ketchup was also really great (and I'm not much of a ketchup girl normally) and the sweet potato fries were crispy and fantastico.
*NOTE: Greg ordered the skewer and the arepa (two smaller dishes) as his main course.
The decor is fresh and beachside chic. There was a small (but totally respectable on Thanksgiving weekend) crowd there, and everyone else's food also looked delish (I stared at all of it). Bonus: the waitstaff all wear these super adorbs "Playa" turquoise tees...I kinda want one.
My only real complaint was that their dessert menu was somewhat limited. Not sure if they are still fine tuning, but our only options were Key Lime Pie and Flan. I'm usually a very strict chocolate-o-tarian when it comes to dessert, so I would have loved some more options there.