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October 29, 2014

Sunday night, desperate for a place to get a few drinks and a somewhat cheap dinner, my friends and I returned to one of my favorite – and extremely underrated – restaurants in the city: The Barrel.


The Barrel is located in the East Village on Stuyvesant and 3rd avenue and actually has the look and feel of sitting inside of an actual giant barrel (trust me). It is a wine/tapas restaurant mostly, but they do have a dinner menu with options such as a rib eye steak, grilled octopus, or a half roasted chicken.


Having been there before (read Tapas Don’t Preach), I already knew what I wanted to get, but when we were sat and handed our menus, the waiter informed us that Happy Hour was going on.


“Happy Hour? On a Sunday?!” we all questioned. 


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From 5-7 everyday, the Barrel has a fantastic Happy Hour (one of the best I’ve seen since living in NYC). Beer and mixed drinks are 4$ while whine and sangria is 5$ and there is a food menu of popular tapas that are only 4$ a plate. We didn’t even open up the regular menus and ordered straight from the special happy hour one.


I started off with a vodka tonic and 2 orders of the patatas bravas. For those that do not know, patatas bravas are fried potatoes mixed together with a mayonnaise-based sauce. They are amazing. We also ordered the steak frites, tuna sliders, macaroni and cheese and a side of vegetables. 


The steak frites plate was two pieces of steak atop (more) patatas bravas. I don’t really eat fish, but I took a bite out of the tuna slider and didn’t think it was too terrible. My friends thought it was going to be rare tuna, but it was cooked, so it had the texture and consistency as a turkey burger. The macaroni and cheese was really good! The last time I went, I had the mac and cheese and wrote that it was too watery. Luckily, The Barrel reads my blog and made the necessary adjustments so the dish was much thicker. And the side of veggies…well, I don’t know. I didn’t have any. 



Aside from the sharing factor, ordering tapas is great because it stops you from overeating. Having a few plates come to the table sporadically never make you feel full, just satisfied.


Since it was happy hour, we took advantage of the drink specials and ordered (many) more drinks. When we got the check, I saw that my tequila/pineapple only cost $3.60. What….a deal.


If you are ever looking for a great spot for a first date or a get together with friends, I suggest you try the East Village’s best kept secret. 

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