There's a new-ish little spot on a quiet stretch of S. 1nd Street (a block from Rye) that I just fell in love with. It's called Tabare (221 S. 1st, between Driggs & Roebling, 7347-335-0187) and they offer a mix of Italian & Uruguayan food. It's super tiny, with maybe 10 table, and a short bar with a few stools, but it has charm and coziness to spare. It's perfect during the cold, winter months to get some comfort food, and I suspect that it will be a delight in the summertime when the seasonal menu changes and they open the heavy drapes and windows.
On this trip, my friend and I tried a variety of appetizers, salads and mains, starting with the Empanadas. You get to choose two from three varieties, one meat, one fish & one veggie. She ordered the Tuna and Black Olives and the Caramelized Onions, Gruyere and Fontina Cheese. They also came with two dipping sauces and were a delight. Flaky, crispy dough, stuffed with the delicious, flavorful fillings.
I started with the Kale Salad with red onions, creme fraiche, anchovy and lemon zest. It was incredible. So tart and creamy! It looks like it was drenched with the cream, but since it was cut with the lemon juice so instead it was quite light. The anchovy was a nice tough as well, and not overpowering at all. I still think about this salad and it's been weeks!
My friend also ordered the Roasted Beet Salad with toasted pistachio, ricotta salata and mint. It was a lovely salad, with lots of beets and the other ingredients nicely proportioned. It was served with a vinaigrette that enhanced the subtle, earthy flavors.
For my main, I got the Churrasco, Grass-fed skirt steak served with tapenade-baked potato, arugula salad and chimichurri. The meat was tender and delicious, especially with the chimichurri sauce, a wonderful blend of cliantro, garlic & olive oil. The baked potato with olive tapenade was OK. I think I actually would have preferred a little butter instead of the intensely flavorful olive spread. The arugula salad provided a nice, fresh contrast to the heavy meat. The portion was pretty big, with two large pieces of steak.
All in all it was a delicious dinner. The menu has a number of wines and cocktails available and the staff were friendly and easy-going. I highly recommend Tabare. Let me know if you had room for dessert!