I usually don’t talk about my personal life, but there’s no time like the present to start! A couple weeks ago, I went out on a date with Joe’s co-worker. Since we’d never met before, Joe suggested we get together for drinks first to see if we would hit it off. We decided to meet at The Barrel, a wine bar in the east village.
We started off with a bottle of Malbec and also decided to get some snacks since it was around dinner time. To start, the waitress brought along three butters and bread:
Paul was really impressed with the different types of butters – it’s actually the first time I’ve been to a restaurant where they’ve presented three different flavored butters (the closest second would be Del Posto, which gives you regular butter and lardo).
After we placed our order, we got a tiny amuse bouche of goat cheese on toast:
Side story: I was really nervous to be on a date and I wasn’t paying much attention to what we were ordering. Paul mentioned that their servings were really small and we ordered something else with goat cheese, so I thought that amuse bouche was our actual dish! It wasn’t…and I felt like a complete idiot.
We ordered two flatbreads – Smoked Salmon & Goat Cheese Flatbread with fried shallots & capers:
Prosciutto & Sun-dried Tomato Flatbread with gruyere cheese:
The smoked salmon didn’t taste quite right on the flatbread but we were both fans of the prosciutto.
We also decided to order the chef’s tasting of canapes:
The beets and hearts of palm were good (although not difficult to prepare) but the rest of the canapes weren’t great (or even good). Paul was not a fan of the pork and chicken liver (neither was I). We finished our bottle of Malbec and decided to get another drink, so we went with some dessert wine to go along with our chocolate souffle:
Oh.my.god this “souffle” was absolutely terrible; it was sponge-like yet heavy and also a little dry. The only good thing about the dessert was the banana ice cream!
So my date with Paul was semi-successful; before we went out, Joe told me that if Paul didn’t like me, he would let me know right away (luckily, he didn’t tell me that he didn’t like me). We were going to go on a second date, but Joe intervened and decided that it wasn’t a good match. So, Barrel might be a good place for a first date, but only for the wine – the food is definitely not worth an individual visit.