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Sep 4, 2007 08:17 PM

BarFry Review

I was joking with my lady that I had become somewhat of a Homer Simpson-type when I heard about the opening of BarFry, and how could I not? U-10 Shrimp, scallops, calimari, pork dumplings, chicken cutlets, chicken-fried steak, onion rings...all fried to a crunchy, oily perfection.

It was nice. The servers are wearing ironic hipster t-shirts but they were passionate about their food and the wine that I brought in (as I write this, BarFry is BYOB until they get their liquor license, which they claim is "any moment now.")

For two, we ordered eight tempura dishes, two sides, and four sauces. The proscuitto special was memorable. It consisted of proscuitto di parma, pickled wax beans, and a tempura-fried egg yolk. Deee-lish. The jalapeno-soy and sweet miso dips were wonderful.
The tempura batter is awesome. Oily, but not too much. Crispy, but not like a removable shell that you see is some places. The ingredients that they are frying are top notch; not hiding behind the frying, but, rather benefiting from it.

The problem is, after eating there, as delicious as it all was, I can't imagine going back in the next six months; this had nothing to do with the jelly jar wine glasses or copious amounts of Snoop Doggy Dogg blaring on the speakers- it's just that the food was so....well, Fried, that after eating there, it's going to be a long time before I crave the likes of it again.

Do I recommend it? Hells Yes! While I was grazing on my tempura feast, the server came by and asked if everything was alright. I told her this might possibly be the greatest day of my life. But now, my tummy hurts.

Definitely get the black seasame gelato with the concord grape sorbet for a great PB&J combination that the staff didn't even know about!

Great place to check out. Just be prepared to sweat pure canola oil the night of.

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  1. good review...i havent been but figure id feel the same as you did. maybe one day.

    1. Just out of curiosity, are all the fried food in tempura style? (i.e. fried in tempura batter?) I saw in the menu that there are pork cutlets and meat which we normally fried with panko (katsu), so I wonder if what batter they use for these kinds of dishes.

      My favorite tempura is anago (sea eel) and uni. I know BarFry is not a Japanese restaurant so they probably don't have them, but if they do I will be motivated to go like NOW.

      4 Replies
      1. re: kobetobiko

        They didnt't have anago or uni when i went. I thought the sides were better than the tempura.

        1. re: kobetobiko

          the only katsu-style frying i saw was in the po' boys.

          1. re: kobetobiko

            just curious, how do they possibly fry uni?

            1. re: sam1

              usually the uni is wrapped in shiso leaf or nori. I have had tried uni tempura that was fried without any wrapping. (it shouldn't be too hard as tempura batter is very very thick). The version with shiso leaf is much better than with nori IMO.

              Imagine the crispy light tempura batter with a creamy sweet melt-in-your-mouth uni inside. mouth is watering...

          2. I was curious about this place too. More menu items please.

            10 Replies
              1. re: kobetobiko

                Thanks KBTBK- sounds interesting. New Orleans meets Tokyo. How come no oyster po'boy? Just had a great one in Vancouver. The Platonic version is, of course, at Casamento's in New Orleans.

                1. re: guttergourmet

                  Hey GG, You are very welcome.

                  I totally hear you. My two favorite tempura - anago and uni (actually shirako is also one but I do not expect them to have it) and my two favorite po'boy - oysters and soft shelled crabs - NONE on the menu!

                  May be they will have them as specials?

                  And if they are serving ice cream why aren't they serving tempura ice-cream? That's not unusual in NYC....

                  By the way, thanks for your review on LAN. It is one of those underrated restaurants that I happen to like a lot.

                  1. re: kobetobiko

                    I am an uni freak. See my profile. Check out Bruni's review of Soto yesterday speaking of uni.

                    1. re: kobetobiko

                      Went the other night and was lured in sure enough by oysters on the specials board -skookums to be specific (anybody read "A Geography of the Oyster" yet? I highly recommend it). Rather than shoot my wad on a po'boy, I ordered 2 oysters, 3 shrimp, rare yellowfin tuna and the beef beignet which is really a very good empanada. The sauces were all very interesting and I kept alternating them. The tempura batter was very very light and everything was very fresh. Left hungry. Don't know if it'll catch on but I liked it. Chef DeChellis was there working hard to impress the Village Voice photographer.

                      1. re: guttergourmet

                        any update on BarFry? Have the specials changed/expanded? Anyone do the happy hour special?

                        1. re: maggiej

                          I've been for happy hour and really enjoyed myself. Chef sent out an amuse bouche (even though we were only having drinks) and tempura went great with some of the cocktails. Service was friendly and attentive. My only complaint is that a 4-6 happy hour is really not convenient for most working people, but if I have a day off, I may try the evening happy hour, as well.

                          1. re: JungMann

                            I went for the first time the other day, and had a great time. The chef kept us well-fed during happy hour, and the bartenders made great drinks.

                            I particularly liked a drink called a Darky Mark, and a kind of deconstructed shrimp bisque thing that the chef brought out.

                            1. re: alysonlaurel

                              Was the Darky Mark a shrimp-bisque flavored cocktail??? I'm hoping this was a soup!

                              1. re: JungMann

                                Yeah, I wasn't clear. The Darky Mark was a drink with bourbon and bitters and about fifteen other things. It's not usually my style, but it was tasty. The deconstructed shrimp bisque was a whole different thing.