Bar Artisanal Insta-Overhauled Into Bar Artisanal Restaurant & Tapas

As Metromix noted in slide 16 of a 65-image slideshow from Taste of the Nation last night, chef Terrence Brennan swapped the French menu for Spanish at his expansive, ridiculous and utterly gimmicky Bar Artisanal in Tribeca. Both Grub Street and Diner's Journal spotlight the new menu, which features classic and nouveau tapas like salt cod croquettes and manchego tempura side-by-side. How food best enjoyed in tiny bars in Spain, or even Chelsea, is suited to an airplane hangar-sized room in Tribeca is unclear. Things the jury is also still working on: how many more overhauls, tweaks and facelifts Terrence Brennan has in him before people stop caring about his next marketing scheme. The full spiel here:


Chef Terrance Brennan Takes on Tapas In TriBeCa

New York, NY- (May 18, 2010) – Michelin-starred chef Terrance Brennan is pleased to announce the opening of Bar Artisanal Restaurant & Tapas Bar, a culinary tribute to the simple ingredients, rich culture, and robust flavors of Spain. Bar Artisanal seduces guests with sultry colors, sensual beats, and savory dishes created to delight the palate bite by bite. Formerly a downtown version of acclaimed sister restaurant Artisanal Bistro in midtown, Bar Artisanal has shed its predominantly French-Mediterranean menu, re-emerging with Spanish flair and an Artisanal twist.

I’ve visited Spain many times before, and have had a strong desire to do Spanish restaurant for some time now. I’ve been looking at spaces for years, when, all along, the perfect one was right under my nose,” said Chef Brennan. “The Spanish-influenced dishes on the former menu were very popular and some key members of my team have solid experience with this cuisine and culture. The energy and design of the room lends itself to this concept. Even the colors in the existing logo are those of the Spanish flag. So it was a natural, organic shift to take Bar Artisanal in this direction. More importantly, I want to bring more focus with soul and passion to the restaurant.”

Organized into Tapas Classicas y Modernas, Entradas, Ensaladas, Platos Principales and Postres, the menu showcases Chef Brennan’s interpretations of classic Spanish dishes as well as original, creative fare. Rounding out the offerings are a selection of Fondues, Spanish cheeses and Embutidos (charcuterie). A closer look reveals delectable Classic Tapas like Salt Cod Fritters with Piquillo Pepper Jam, and of course Patatas Bravas. Sea Urchin Crema with Toast, Liquid Foie Gras, and Potato Cone Foam with Caviar, a savory tuille filled with potato foam topped with organic Spanish caviar are highlights on the Modern Tapas section. The wood fired oven turns out a selection of Cocas (Spanish-style pizzas) like one made with Potato, Chorizo and Fried Egg. Signature dishes include Fideos Negros, small pieces of pasta cooked with Squid, Piquillo Peppers and Classic Aioli; Shellfish Paella with Lobster, Clams, Shrimp and Mussels; Roast Chicken with Olives, Lemon, Garlic and Pimenton Picante; and Fabada, a bean stew made with Pork Belly, Chorizo and Blood Sausage and served crackling and hot. Churros, Spanish-style doughnuts, served with hot chocolate and Fried Horchata served with a Horchata milkshake are two of the signature sweets.

The wine list, by Beverage Director Jason Miller, features more than 50 Spanish wines organized by region, and 10 by the glass. Highlights on the creative cocktail menu are the Valencia made with Vodka, Mango and Jalapeno; and the PX Cacao Martini made with PX Sherry, Vodka and Godiva. Bar Artisanal specializes in innovative twists on a traditional beverage called Horchata, a milky sweet rice drink served ice cold and made of ground almonds, sesame seeds, barley and tigernuts. Horchata gets a creative kick with flavors like Lychee and Brandy and Passion Fruit and Rum.

At the helm of Bar Artisanal’s team are Chef de Cuisine Ayesha Nurdjaja and General Manager Louis Andia. A member of the James Beard Foundation and Women Chefs & Restaurateurs, Chef Nurdjaja was Executive Chef of Il Bodello Mediterranean Restaurant in Chelsea prior to joining Bar Artisanal. She also brings her experience working in the kitchen of Felidia Restaurant, Lidia Bastianich’s acclaimed East Side flagship. The son of a Sevillan bullfighter, GM Louis Andia has strong personal and professional ties to Spain. Louis has managed several of Manhattan’s popular Spanish restaurants including, Pamplona (2-stars, The New York Times) and Pipa Restaurant (awarded Best Tapas/Small Plates restaurant by Timeout NY, 2002-2003). Chef Brennan is excited to continue working with this team of passionate and experienced professionals.

Bar Artisanal ( is located at 268 West Broadway, one block South of Canal Street. Hours of operation are:

Brunch: Saturday & Sunday - 11:45 am - 3:00 pm
Dinner: Monday - Wednesday - 5:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Thursday - Saturday - 5:00 pm - 11:00 pm
Sunday - 4:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Late Night: Thursday - Saturday - 11:00 pm - 1:00 am
Happy Hour: Sunday - Friday - 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Thursday & Friday - 10:00 pm to close

[Metromix, Grub Street, Diner's Journal/NYT]

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