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A Perfect Raw bar

A Perfect Raw bar

Review of: Bar Crudo
By: Avery Glasser
Rating: 5
Read review on Judy’s Book.

This week, we’re entertaining friends from Belgium – trying to convince them that there really are great examples of well thought out restaurants serving phenomenal food at fair prices. In our wanders we’ve introduced them to good chocolate (Recchiuti), pizza (Amici’s), pastries (Tartine) and coffee (Ritual) – so we had to find somwthing better than average when we were asked to find a good place that served dungeness crab. We chose Bar Crudo and were rewarded for making that choice.

The restaurant is a (not so hidden) gem – a few seats at the main floor bar, and a few tables on top. Arriving on time, we were seated upstairs at the edge of the loft, giving us a perfect view of the kitchen area and were promptly brought cucumber water (and later a carafe of it) and the menus.

The first thing to notice is the fairness of the prices. A perfectly prepared half of a dungeness crab was $15 and ranked almost as high as the fresh-from-the-boat crab we had last weekend. Four well sized pieces of crudo ran $10, and the amazing fish chowder another $10. The wine averaged in the mid $30 range and the restaurant also sported an excellent selection of Belgian beer.

The crab, as I mentioned, was perfect and served with clarified butter, a spicy sauce and a large crayfish. The crudo sampler had some amazing pieces (the arctic char) and some that were simply great. Then again, we’re hard to impress with just excellent quality raw fish based on the amount of sushi we had. The joy of crudo is in the flavors that bring out the best quality of the seafood. I’m happy that I did the sampler as four pieces of even the most excellent char would have been too much.

As is appropriate, the cooked or more heavily flavored dishes followed the simpler ones. For our friends who started with the crab, a tuna confit followed. For my wife and I, our crudo was followed by the best chowder I have had in a decade – a perfect bisque with expertly boiled potatos and morsels of seafood (the cod and squid were perfect). We ended with the cheese plate – three well selected cheese balanced with honey, dates and perfect slices of walnut toast – lightly buttered and grilled. The toast was so good, we had to ask for more to end the meal. A final offering of mint and truffles and we walked back into the winter drizzle, our wallets only $40 lighter per person for the experience.

Highly recommended.

Visit Date: 1/25/2006

Posted in Reviews.

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