The Sunday tunnel traffic was atrocious and I was late. Not just a few minutes late, like really late. Late enough that my dinner-date had time to get assigned reading done and slowly sip a cocktail at the bar. Late.
By the time I arrived, I was mortified, but the back of my great friend’s bent head made everything better. Relief.
I was also pleased that the place she picked for our rendez-vous was stunning. We were meeting in mid-town, so quality can be sparse. But Bea Restaurant & Bar, was kind of exactly what I was hoping for on that chilly night.
The place has real atmosphere— thrown together round tables, white-washed brick walls, dark cushiony booths, Edison bulbs and frames unite, giving off a cool, “hush-hush” speakeasy vibe. The big central bar displays the booze like it’s art, towering, lit and impressive. Chic Distress.
But we were there to chat, nosh on some fancy eclectic bar food, and have a sip or two.
A sip or two— the Pisco Sour had an intense citrus tang, biting and aggressive, but was muted by sweet egg whites and cane syrup, while the Paper Fox was spicy and strong, layered with whiskey, lime juice, maraschino liqueur and ginger syrup. Sexy.
A thick mound of stringy tender pulled pork toped the flaky partha flatbread, creating a fierce dichotomy of textures, fueled by sweetness and smoke. The red cabbage upped the ante, adding an overwhelming crunch of freshness and pickled tang. Layered.Melty cheese and toasty breadcrumbs bonded over elbow pasta, smoldering with guilty pleasures. It was creamy and smooth, thick and enticing. There was just enough flavor to keep coming back for more. Addictive..
Lighting, ambiance and totally shareable dishes make Bea a lovely place for a date, even (especially) if you’re a little later than planned. Perfect.