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|Rice Noodle Soup w/ Chicken||Marrow Bones|
New World Bistro Bar [NWBB] is located on Delaware avenue in Delmar. I'd been trying to visit NWBB for several months, and was finally able to bring a group of four friends with me. Most of NWBB's menu tends to be more eclectic than not. This is what intrigued me.
The decor is warm, and you're promptly greeted by a friendly hostess. The rest of the space, however, seems cramped. There's really no space between tables, which makes getting back and forth between tables somewhat trying. I also wasn't a fan of the fact that the table selected for our party was the one right by the door. The double doors of NWBB helped somewhat in the beginning. However, as foot traffic increased, and the night went on, cold air began seeping in more and more.
|The Meatloaf||The Ropa Vieja|
On to the food! There were hits, and there were misses. We ordered a bit of everything. Among our drink orders was a Maine Mojito ($10), a Chipotle Margarita ($8), and a New Old Fashioned ($9). The margarita was as spicy as one would expect chipotle to be. This isn't my cup of tea, but my friend enjoyed it immensely. The new old fashioned was strong enough to warm you from the inside out. Definitely a drink to nurse, and not swig. It was enjoyable. I have to say the disappointment was my Mojito. It needed more syrup to bring out the flavors, and I couldn't taste the vodka. It tasted like blueberry seltzer.
For appetizers we ordered a crab cake dish (I can't recall the preparation, as it seems it's no longer on the menu), marrow bones ($9), bourbon glazed pork belly ($9), the glazed lobster and sweetbread nuggets ($12), and a noodle soup with chicken that was among their specials. The crab cake was a disappointment. It was too small for the price, and tasted like there were pieces of the soft shell still inside. The soup was okay in flavor, but I expected more. It was broth, chicken, and rice noodles, with no special highlight to any flavors or textures. The marrow bones were interesting. They were fatty and rich, but when combined with the garlic toast, jam, and sea salt it became palatable. While the richness overwhelmed me, one of my friends absolutely enjoyed the combination. The lobster and sweetbreads, while cooked to perfection, I believe were combined with the wrong type of sauce for their inherent flavors. The dish came with a ginger reduction. I'd have prepared it with perhaps a curry cream sauce, or a stronger soy flavor. The pork belly was also a disappointment. I expect pork belly to be soft, flavorful, and bacon like. I've had some amazing pork belly, and this wasn't one of them. It was dry (which is a feat for a fatty cut) and bland.
|Bourbon Glazed Pork Belly||Jerk Chicken|
As we enter to the entree time of our meal, we realize that one of our appetizers was left off. The chick pea fries never came. We notified our waiter, who rectified the mistake. In hindsight, it was probably best they never came. The chick pea fries were not tasty at all. There was no crispy outside. They were soggy, and greasy, with an unpleasant texture.
For our meals we had the Ropa Vieja ($22), the Jerk Chicken Dinner ($22) at heat level 7, a meatloaf dish on their list of specials, and a mussel dish that was also on special. The meatloaf was absolutely amazing. It was moist, flavorful, covered in cheese, wrapped in bacon, with sausage mixed in. If I could've traded the entire meal for that dish, I would have. Sadly it wasn't the one I ordered. The jerk chicken was also impeccable. The seasonings were perfectly balanced and palatable for a heat level 7. I applaud anyone who can create a chicken breast dish, without drying out the chicken (I wish I couldn've said the same for the chicken in the soul earlier). My dish, the ropa vieja, was not so successful. I don't feel the flavors blended together, and the short ribs, while tender, were still chewy. I would have expected the fat to bring a 'melt in your mouth' flavor. I was mistaken. I enjoyed the sides to my meal (brown rice, and yams), more than the actual meal. In fact, I traded my dish for the mussels ordered by a friend. She was told the mussels were not spicy. When they arrived, there was red peper oil floating in the broth. I love a good blend of spice, but for my friend, this dish was not what she was told it was.
I'll skip over dessert (there was nothing outstanding), and conclude with service. While friendly, I found it quite frustrating that we had to make a joint effort as a table to get our waiter's attention. He looked right at us as we waved our hands to ask for silverware, or drink refills, and proceeded to either continue what he was doing previously, or walk the other way. It ended up being the food runners who were most attentive. I find that to be a fatal flaw.
|The Glazed Lobster & Sweetbread Nuggets||The 'Crab Cake Esque' Dish|