Sunday, July 10, 2011

Tabare: Uruguyan Cuisine in Williamsburg !

(Note: This is my first post with pictures from my DSLR; I still have quite a bit of learning to do with it :)

Nick is a friend who is moving to San Diego at the end of this month.  As expected, he has been on a most glorious eating rampage to take in as much of New York's finest before his departure to the West Coast.  I recently lured him out to my neck of the woods to try a charming little Uruguayan restaurant called Tabare.

The restaurant was delightfully small, warm and intimate with an adorable outdoor dining space attached at the rear. 

The small menu offers empanadas, grilled octopus, mussels and chorizo as appetizers and heartier plates like grass-fed steak steak and homemade vegetarian lasagna.  There is something for just about everyone, vegetarians, omnivores and carnivores alike.

And they also have happy hour from 5p-7p with $3 beers and $5 glasses of wine.  We ordered a bottle of Uruguayan beer because when in pseudo-Uruguay...

We were greeted with a warm airy loaf of bread, delivered to the table with a small bowl of olive-infused olive oil.

We ended up requesting another loaf of bread.  It was just too warm and crusty and soft to not order another one !

After plundering the bread, we ordered two handmade empanadas to share.

One was filled with caramelized onions, fontina and gruyere cheeses, with great emphasis on the cheese.  It oozed out like hot lava - spectacular!  

The second (not pictured) was tight with Spanish tuna and minced black olives.  It was uniquely flavorful and surprisingly quite tasty.

The caserola de pulpo, octopus casserole, was a complete charmer in its shallow cast iron pot.  Thick juicy cuts of octopus were covered with fat lima beans, sprinkled generously with paprika and topped with a whollop of lemon aioli sauce.

I particularly enjoyed how the paprika was encrusted on each fat bean.  I don't think I've ever given lima beans their proper due - I am quite a fan after this dish!

But enough about beans - the grilled octopus was especially killer - so soft and tender.  Such a terrific little appetizer of flavors and textures.

Nick and I shared the chivito completo entree plate because it defined everything that should possibly be included in a sandwich: grass-fed filet mignon with bacon, mozzerella, onions and a fried egg.  Yes please to everything.  Yes to those home fried potatoes, too, whatever they are.  Yes to those extra napkins that you recommended to our sloppy selves.

Home fried potatoes turn out to be super thin cut fries by the way.

Nick was tasked with halving our sandwich to share.  It might have been the outdoor seating or the intense stress of the matter, but he broke a little sweat.

The sandwich was very good - a juicy, goopy egg on tender meat is always perfection.  Add in some thick cut bacon...whooee, it's a winner.  I ended up eating it as an open faced sandwich though because it was a bit too much my hands (and my mouth) could handle, but I'm sure Thanan with his giant mouth could easily handle this monster.

I am delighted to find such a gem in my neighborhood so fairly priced, charming and simply delicious.  Those empanadas have seriously captured my heart.

221 South 1st Street
Brooklyn, NY 11211
Tabare on Urbanspoon


  1. Uruguayan food looks really delicious! I love octopus and the Gruyere empanada looks amazing, too. Mmmm...

    (What kind of DSLR did you get?)

  2. The empanada looks especially amazing, but really, all of the pictures look great! Seems like you're doing just fine with the DSLR.

    I was a Williamsburg girl myself up until December. Now I'm a Downtown Brooklyn girl and still have no idea where to eat in my neighborhood!

  3. love your pics! i might dream about those empanadas tonight...

  4. forgot to respond, sara ! i have the canon xsi :)

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