Let's begin with the basic, unimpeachable fact that everything tastes better fried. Chicken parmigiana tastes better than chicken paillard for a damn good reason. These guys are on A1 of the Times today for deep frying Oreos and Snickers bars and making them taste better. One could deep fry a #2 pencil and have it come out edible. No, Deep Frying 213 isn't exactly the class that's going to keep you from graduating culinary school.
So, why is it that Josh DeChellis, an excellent chef, a man whose last kitchen, Sumile, was like the high wire act at a three ring circus (studied, choreographed, precise), is dialing it so far back at his new restaurant? It's one thing to grab a couple of stars at then say you want to do burgers. But, BarFry, which opens tomorrow, is an entire restaurant dedicated to things tempura'd. To that end, can we even call a prep station and a row of deep fryers a restaurant?
DeChellis: "Yes, but one might assume otherwise. I did so much work pre-opening, nailing down batters and recipes. Sure, tempura is tempura—it'd be easy to go ahead and drop a bunch of a stuff the fryer and be done. But my own expectation level and experience is too high for that. BarFry is a different kind of thing. I'm trying to create a package that's fun, more than just a bunch of tempura stuff. I want people to leave the rest behind at the door and just indulge."
In a world of no sevens, that response is a six, but we'll chalk up the absurd hype train that is barreling through town (UrbanDaddy, Rare, DailyCandy) to the same thing that got DeChellis his backers: New Yorkers really like fried shit. That said, DeChellis, if this is your idea of a good way of spending more time with the family, well, okay. But your next place better be a real laser light show.