The fiance and I were thrilled to go on a date last Friday night. We chose Barawine, a romantic and trendy restaurant tucked right on the corner of Lenox Avenue and 120th Street. The decor is marvelous, and I will go on a limb here and say: it’s the best lit restaurant in Harlem. Every spotlight features exactly what your eyes what to see. A nice collection of wine welcomes you at every corner, and the staff was some of the nicest staff I’ve ever met in Harlem. (The runner/busser could use more training, but he was still very pleasant.)
We walked in on a Friday night without a reservation and were sent straight to the back to speak with the Maitre D’. Our coats were checked for us, but we were advised to keep our umbrella “because they have legs of their own” by a charming man with a very obvious French accent. He then looked at us and said, “We have the perfect table for you!” That made me smile because as someone who worked in hospitality for a long time, I know that people love to feel special, and those words are exactly what everyone wants to hear. He wasn’t bullshitting though. We were, in fact, led to a very romantic corner table, where we had a perfect view of the dining room and all that was happening.
We ordered the ceviche, beer tartare, duck, and branzino. The Branzino Provecal was my favorite. It was accompanied with asparagus, tomatoes, and black olives. I also loved the beef tartare (I love raw foods). Everything was delicious, light, and flavorful. Everything tasted very fresh. It reminds me a bit of a more “upscale” Vinateria, another very cute restaurant in the neighborhood. Our French server was a beautiful woman who was very attentive but not pushy. She came at the right time each time to check on us. We ordered a light white wine to go with our meal, which was priced at $45. It was about the cheapest wine they had in that category. It’s not bad, but we would’ve loved to see more affordable options around the thirty-dollar price range. We didn’t try dessert because we were headed to Red Rooster for a night cap.
The overall meal and experience were very impressive. I say that because the Yelp reviews compared to what we experienced are very different. We were surprised we hadn’t tried it before! We also love the idea of walking to all these cute and good restaurants! It not only saves us time if we get on the train, but money because I’m a wimp, and I always want to cab it places. You see how hard it is becoming to want to head downtown? We were told that their Sunday brunch is really fun, so I will definitely be back to report on that. Brunches have become very eventful in Harlem recently. With the weather getting nicer, I can’t wait to host a few brunches and feature them here!