Barcade

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I’m not a gamer, by any means. But, as a kid I definitely got down with some old school Mario and Duck Hunt. And, I still find something pretty charming about arcade games. But, you can’t find a lot of places in NYC to take part in a round of Ms. Pacman. Years ago, I went to a bar in Brooklyn that brought the two worlds of bars and arcades together. Now, Barcade has a new location in Chelsea. 

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With dozens of games to choose from, there’s something for everyone, even the non-gaming type. Who would say no to some Donkey Kong? And, for bragging rights, there’s a “High Score” board on the wall. 

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Of course, they’re a bar too, but in addition to a full bar, they also have food, serving typical bar fare with a twist. As a snack, we got some of their Tater Tots “California Style”. Now, I can’t be for certain as to what California style tater tots are, but, I will say they were good. Piled high, the tater tots were golden brown and crisp on the outside. Then, a layer of a sort of special sauce, that I might describe as a cheese sauce meets gravy with a bit of tang, is poured on top. But my favorite part about the basket was the thinly sliced shreds of perfectly caramelized onions. 

The Shorts:
Name: Barcade
Location: 148 West 24th Street, NYC
The Long and Short: Would I go back? Yes, it’s a novel place for me, but there’s such a relaxed atmosphere, that, you can almost forget there are video games if you’re just into grabbing a drink or snack at the bar. 
Would I recommend it? Yes, especially for those that do enjoy the arcade atmosphere. And even more for the competitive type. Get your name on that High Score board. 

 

Tamarind

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I love Indian food, and have gone to my fair share of restaurants. But, oddly enough, I had yet to visit Tamarind. Well, I finally made it, better late than never, right? So, I was off to experience Tamarind in TriBeCa as part of my Michelin Challenge.

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You enter into a grand space, open, airy, light and pretty magnificent. There’s plenty of space in between tables, which, is pretty uncharacteristic of NYC dining rooms with space always being an issue. There’s also a wall of booth seating, almost like individual cabanas.

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The service here is impeccable, and no detail is left off. You’re brought an amuse bouche, we received an Onion Fritter (with green chutney). This was delicious, and unlike the name might infer, it was not greasy or heavy at all. It was light, soft, with pieces of of sweet onion throughout. The chutney was a perfect compliment as well, adding a slight bit of heat to the mild and sweet fritter.

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They offer a prix fixe lunch menu for just $25, which, is a total steal with the amount of food you receive and the quality. For my appetizer, I ordered the Kashmiri Salad (apple, celery, mix greens, walnuts, mustard-vinaigrette dressing). This was such an amazing salad, and I was pleasantly surprised at the generous portion (the plate in the photo is huge, for the record). The apples were fresh, tart, and thickly cut. All of the flavors went really nicely together here, and, the mustard-vinaigrette dressing was a great contrast to the sweetness of the other components.

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For your entree, you choose two main items. I chose Kasundi Macher (salmon in tandoor, yogurt, kasundi mustard, tandoori spices) and Kaddhu Ke Kofte (green squash, chili, gram flour, roasted onions, creamy tomato sauce). These. Were. Both. Amazing. The salmon was soft, juicy, and topped with a hot mustard, giving it a very unique and dynamic flavor. The Kaddhu Ke Kofte, similar to a hush puppy consistency, was really delicious. Similar to the Onion Fritter, this was substantial, but not overly heavy or greasy. And the sauce was incredible, spicy and savory, and I used it to mix in with the rice you also get. For the table, you also receive Naan and the vegetable of the day, which was Chickpeas and Potatoes. The naan was like a dream, pillowy and soft. And the vegetables were served similar to a stew, in a sort of vegetable gravy, a little bit sweet, a little savory, and very tasty.

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Lastly, for dessert, I ordered the Mango Rice Pudding. I really loved this, it was different from any other rice pudding I’ve had before. It’s served hot, and almost more of a thick soup consistency versus the more congealed version. The rice is tender and almost melts in your mouth, and the the creamy mango flavor really comes through nicely.

The Shorts:
Name: Tamarind
Location: 99 Hudson Street, NYC
Michelin Star: One Star
The Long and Short: Would I go back? In a second. Everything here was truly incredible.
Would I recommend it? For sure. Whether you go for lunch, dinner, a special occasion, you’re guaranteed an amazing meal and experience.