Restaurant Review: Bar Verde
Bar Verde is a Matthew Kenney restaurant located on the Lower East Side on the corner of East 4th st. and 2nd ave. This restaurant markets itself as "crafting the future of food," and serves a wide variety of plant based Mexican dishes such as tacos, enchiladas, tamales, churros and more. In addition, they also have a wide variety of cocktails, from margaritas to beer to sangria. It is not a huge restaurant and I wouldn't say there is a ton of seating, but there are outdoor tables, which will be a lovely experience come summer. If you needed any more convincing to visit this place, it is also very conveniently located next door to Double Zero, another restaurant by Matthew Kenney, which has amazing vegan pizza and a wide selection of vegan artisan cheeses. I've also heard word of another vegan restaurant opening next door to Double Zero! Soon the vegans will take over the whole block it seems.
So let's get into it. But before I review the food, I just have to talk about the staff. I have to say that I was really taken by their kindness! My friend Rebecca (@veganbodegacat on Instagram) arrived about a half hour before I did, and while she waited, they gave her some chips and guac on the house. I thought that was an incredibly kind gesture, especially considering we were not there in any official capacity as "influencers" or food bloggers, and I highly doubt that they recognized us from Instagram. Another kind thing our water did was give us a free raw ceviche on the house. Again, with no prompting for us or mentioning of our food blogs. I just thought it was very kind of them and I felt it was right to point that out in this review. Good food is amazing, but it is made so much better when you know that the people working around you are genuinely caring. On to the food review!
The first thing we had was the chips and guac, which as I mentioned was gifted to Rebecca while she waited for me to arrive. It was definitely one of the top guacs I've had in New York, which means a lot coming from a native SolCal resident. The chips were also super crunchy and fresh.
Four our second appetizer, the waiter kindly gifted us with their raw papaya carrot ceviche, which I enjoyed, but am not sure I would order again. It was very light and fresh, and a great compliment to the rest of the meal, but I'm just not entirely sold on papaya as a concept. It's just not really a fruit that I like.
As for the entrées, we ordered the jackfruit barbacoa tacos, and the spicy cauliflower enchiladas. I was really impressed with both dishes. The tacos were topped with more fresh guac and cashew crema and the enchiladas with salsa verde, butternut squash queso radishes and micro greens. I think both of theses dishes were winners and I would absolutely order them again. The jackfruit taco especially was especially well done in my opinion. I think the texture was spot on and I didn't really get the sense that I was eating jackfruit, as often do with these dishes. It was a really great consistency with no chunks.
The last time I went to Bar Verde, though, I ordered the tempura avocado tacos, and I was not a huge fan. Compared to the enchiladas and tacos we ordered this time, the tempura avocado tacos were really lacking in flavor. While amazing in theory, the fried avocado inside didn't seem seasoned, so it made for a kind of mediocre experience. But let's end on a positive note!
Lastly, and what I was anticipating the whole meal, we got churros and chocolate. I have been looking forward to trying these churros ever since the last time I came and my friends decided to get dessert at a different restaurant. Churros y chocolate was a very popular dish among my friends while I lived in Spain, and I often had major fomo watching them eat it. So this opportunity was a long time coming for me! And truth be told, it did not disappoint. The chocolate sauce was rich and creamy, and the churros perfectly crispy on the outside with a gooey interior. I was in heaven. I wish I could have ordered four more plates of them! If you know me, you would know that I have a HUGE sweet tooth, and chocolate is my weakness. I also have a soft spot for pretty food, and I loved how beautiful the churros looked plated with edible flowers and blueberries.
In fact, everything we got was incredibly photogenic–instagrammable, if you will. I give Bar Verde a 10/10 Instagram worthiness.
All in all, I was extremely satisfied with my trip to Bar Verde. I recommend going with a friend like I did, and ordering family style. There is so much amazing food to choose from on this place, and the care that Matthew Kinney puts into his menu really comes through in the food. I hope you found this review helpful, and let me know if you give it a try! I'd love to know your favorite dishes as well so I know what to try next time!
FTC Disclosure: This post is not sponsored nor was I invited to this restaurant for a review. All opinions are my own.