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Good News/Bad News: BarFry

Kalina, 9/17/07.

And, now, a post about Barfry, Josh DeChellis's new West Village deep fryer. The place has been open just a month now and it's been a bit of a dicey month at that. First, we should say, the venue does have big time fans. If Sietsema says the tempura is good, it's good. But, here, some good news and some bad news—today with bonus annotation—coming your way.

1) Bad News: BarFry took several extra weeks to get its liquor paperwork in order. No booze license combined with misinformed servers equals trouble. Email date-stamped Tuesday: "Barfry...a word of warning: Wonderful service-Phenomenal food-$20 corkage fee. They've got to be kidding. "Are they penalizing customers for not having wine?" [Eater Inbox]

2) Good News: When BarFry PR was informed of said issues, by us, yesterday, they had a top-notch shill standing by. It's not officially a shill in that the PR refuses to take credit for their handy work, but let's be clear: this baby is a shill. The following email arrived with remarkable speed, after our query was filed: "Walked by Barfry (50 Carmine St) yesterday and they were open and packed and (thankfully) the hostess told me they finally have their liquor license! Also Markt Table two doors down was packed as well. We ate lunch their Monday and they were nice enough to give my cell phone a ring when a table opened (I work around the corner) since they were packed for lunch. Service was very hospitable and accommodating (the opposite of Shopsin’s who had the space prior)." Sidebar good news: BarFry does now have a liquor license. [Eater Inbox]

3) Good News: Here's some legitimate good news. There's a back garden of sorts here (about which we do have to wonder, how was this piece of intel left out of the first round of blurbs on the place?). From Food & Wine's Ratha Tep, on a recent night out: "Where we ended up was even better: BarFry's ultra-tiny, no-frills enclosed backyard, at a picnic table, where the only adornments were a few tealights. I'd always been a huge fan of chef Josh DeChellis's deft, pristine dishes at Sumile Sushi. So while I think he should sneak in more than two raw dishes a night, I'd definitely go back for the plump tempura oysters—and then some cold, biting "wasabi peas"—green snap peas tossed with fresh wasabi—to cut down on the grease (and ease my conscience)." [Mouthing Off]

4) Good News: More legitimate good news, especially for the deep fryed non-inclined (or bad news, depending on the extent to which having Cutlets in your corner is the way to go): "The thing DeChellis seems most pleased with right now is a tea-smoked anago (sea eel) roll, which he’s doing entirely without rice: fresh snow peas, snap peas, pea purée, grated radish, and various lettuces and herbs take the place of a starch. No need now to feel guilty for going out for a dinner of deep-fried treats and beer." [Cutlets]

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