Monday, February 16, 2009


29. Elettaria
33 W 8th Street at MacDougal St

Just a few doors down from Gray’s Papaya sits Elettaria, a bar/restaurant whose French-American menu (guinea hen, duck, sweetbreads) is influenced by Indian cuisine (samosas, dosa crepe, coconut, turmeric). When we arrived we snagged the last two seats at the bar, and all of the tables were full. The open kitchen adds some welcome theatrics though I imagine it probably gets noisy when sitting too close. Despite the fact that there was only one bartender at the fully seated bar, the staff was welcoming to a couple of people who were only there to order one appetizer, the fried quail ($12). Instead of the usual bread and butter, we were offered some naan and a yogurt dipping sauce, keeping with the Indian inspired menu. The fried quail came soon after. Usually quail is prepared whole, but to maximize surface area for the fried coating, the bird was divided into six pieces, coated in what tasted like beer batter with a tempura-like crispiness and served over some greens. Not too fried or heavy, the moist flavor of the quail was allowed to come through. My dining companion and I agreed that the best piece was the breast meat, more tender than the others. Whether sitting at the bar while waiting for a table or if you're looking for a glass of wine and an appetizer before eating somewhere else, the fried quail is worth a visit.

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