Baru Bistro & Tapas on the corner of Amelia and Magazine Streets for my 92nd cheat. I gained three pounds from last week (am I giving up?), of course I went anyhow...
Though the corner bistro's interior was dim and cool, I wanted to sit outside. Yes I know there is still roadwork being done on Magazine, but all the boys were eating their lunches in the shade and their machines were quiet. I was all but rubbing my hands together in delight as I pictured the "fruit-tastic" cocktail I was about to order when I spotted a small, paper sign in the window. It is still BYOB at Baru, but this didn't stop the table next to us who picked up some wine on the way over...something to remember next time.
The special that day just sounded too irresistible to pass up and I am oh-so glad we didn't. The mejinllones en escabeche or cold, marinated mussels were plated in "cake" form with a small dice of mangoes, peppers, chives and cilantro, and served with thick slices of toasted french bread. As we guzzled and scarfed, another plate of "atun tartare" - Yellow fin tuna, creamy avocado and coconut oil - blessed the table, complete with warm, white corn tortilla chips.
[Side note: At home, I looked up both Spanish terms. Mazorca, as far as I can tell means "ear of corn," but it is also slang for "smiling from ear to ear" and salao means "salty," but it also means to have terrible luck. Is there a joke I'm missing here?]
It was time to put a cap on our feeding frenzy, even though I was sorely tempted to add the ceviche to our order. Heaving a sigh of relative regret, I chose our dessert, Baru's Quatros Leches cake. An extremely airy version of pound cake was soaked in the usual three; condensed, evaporated and heavy cream. Plus, there was a thick layer of foamed crema for the icing and fanciful drizzles of a fresh berry puree. It was incredibly delicious and is playing a close second to my favorite Tres Leches from Maya's on the other end of town...but on the same street. The only disappointment at Baru came with the check. It just seemed a little too big a bite out of the wallet for an "alcohol-free" tapas experience.
By the way, doesn't it seem like everything is on Magazine these days? Perhaps I need to make a greater effort to branch out.