I have to give credit where credit is due. My friend, Zac, is absolutely amazing at finding new, delicious, fun restaurants across the city. He is my go-to person and the absolute best company. Recently, he has been surprising me with various locations around the city, since I have a serious habit of dissecting menus before I even step foot into a restaurant. To prevent this, I have no clue where I am going until we walk inside.
On Saturday night, we made our way downtown to the West Village to Yerba Buena, one of the most interesting, fabulous restaurants. All of the patrons inside were young, trendy, and beautiful. I felt like I was inside Manhattan’s hidden food scene. I couldn’t wait to try the food. And trust me, it surpassed all expectations.
They are known for their spectacular cocktails, so we couldn’t wait to order and sip their crazy concoctions.
Zac’s drink was light and refreshing, but with a kick that was too much for my mini sip. I enjoyed my drink, which was fruity with the figs and sweet from the honey, but still strong because of the bourbon.
We ordered the guacamole to start, but it took a bit to come out. We were served our second order before, but it was a wonderful way to start the meal. The Arepa’s are famous from YB and they lived up to our expectations.
Biting in, the outside of the arepa was perfectly crunchy but with a sweet inside. The short rib just managed to melt in my mouth and the cole slaw cut through the spice of the jalapeño. I ate mine delicately and slowly trying to savor every single bite. I loved the spanish twist on a little slider. It was such a wonderful start to the meal.
Then the fish tacos came out. We had been eyeing them at the table over and were so anxious to eat and enjoy this variation on such a wonderful, classic dish.
The crispy outside, but warm light fish inside combined with the cabbage and sweet mango creates a great taco. The addition of chunks of mango and jicama on top of the perfectly fried fish put a new spin on a typical dish. Each bite built the flavor profile in your mouth, leaving an after taste of fresh satisfaction. The portion size was ideal, since the dishes seemed to get better as the meal progressed.
Finally, our original order of guacamole arrived, which was most definitely worth the wait. It was almost nice that it came in between appetizers and entrees, creating that mid-meal snack while we waited for the best to come.
YB’s twist on my beloved guacamole raised the bar on any future dishes. The addition of queso fresco completely changed the composition of a classic dish. It gave it this sweet tang unique from the typical lime component. Plus, the sweet chipotle gave a bit of heat that was not overwhelming. It created this perfect harmony of avocado and crisp tortilla chips, clearly right out of the fryer. We had been told this was a must have dish, and it definitely was a fabulous dish.
Next, our main course, the braised beef came out and the smell just made my mouth.
No knife necessary for this perfectly cooked, delicious piece of beef. It melted onto your fork and in my mouth. The sweet chimichurri sauce on top gave it the light, fresh accompaniment, rather then a heavy sauce. Just ripping it to pieces, with bites in between of the light lo-mein with the running yolk seeping through. I keep thinking about the delicious cut of beef. It must have been slow cooked for hours to literally melt, lacking any fat or unappealing pieces. It was just perfect.
But the best, best, best part of the meal is what was ordered on the side. Trio of fries. But no potatoes were included in this side of fries. I’m talking about watermelon, hearts of palm and avocado fries. Yes, you read correctly.
Holy moly. I have never thought in my lifetime I would bite into a Watermelon Fry. And boy, is it something I am craving again. The outside was so perfect crisp and fried. The inside was slightly warm, but still retained all of the juice that you enjoy in a watermelon on a perfect summer day. The combination was so complex and interesting, I couldn’t help but keep searching through the pile for another one of the watermelon kind.
I tried the hearts of palm too, enjoying the bites as well. It wasn’t as wild in flavor as the watermelon, but still unique in itself. I remember from Boca the tempura avocado and was extremely happy to indulge in the treat again. But I keep thinking about the watermelon. It has to have been the most unique dish I have ever tried. And I absolutely loved it.
If you want to impress someone with your fabulous restaurant knowledge, definitely head down to YB. I promise you will be so full and satisfied and your taste buds will experience food like never before. The atmosphere is wonderful and the food is equally as good. Definitely tops my list of NYC restaurants.
Yerba Buena Perry – 1 Perry Street – New York, NY
Yerba Buena Perry
Location: West Village, NY
Perfect For: Girls’ Night Out, Date Night, Small Plates, Drinks
Reservations: Recommended via OpenTable
Favorite Dishes: Watermelon Fries, Braised Short Ribs, Arepa