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  Occasion: Cuisine: Area: Cost: Rating:
  Night Out Turkish/Middle Flatiron Moderate Good


At Barbounia, the new Mediterranean-inspired restaurant named for a red mullet, the chandelier is what you'll notice first. I am not sure if it is a chandelier as much as a giant feathered disco ball, or what I have come call "What Happened to Bjork's Swann Dress."

The first time I ate at Barbounia, with my friend Diana, we were seated directly underneath it. I felt a bit like I was either about to be beamed up to the Flight Deck of the Starship Enterprise, or would be asked to take a spin around the dance floor by John Travolta on roller skates. (Neither occurred.) When I returned with Julie and Kathy on Monday night, we were seated on the pillowed banquettes lining the perimeter of the pale caramel-colored dining room, to the left of the sparkling open kitchen, and we stared at it from a distance, mesmerized by its long white feathered wings rotating around its twinkling disco ball center. In this warm and elegantly designed space, warmed with sand tones, the chandelier is Priscilla, Queen of the Dessert.

Once you weigh in on your feelings about the chandelier, you can move onto cocktails (the Gin Citrus, the Philosopher King, and the Olympia are my favorites) at the stunning bar, lined in floor to ceiling windows and lit with bare bulbs on wire strings, lighting that is a striking contrast to What Happened to Bjork's Dress. Incidentally, the bar is a perfect place to pop in and grab a light bite, perhaps a few Mediterranean dips and bread, or a few of the menu's lighter apps, or selection of cured meats and cheeses. But I urge you to commit to dinner at least once because it was, for me, Julie and Kathy, a progression of "Mmmm, Yum, Wow, Oh my god, and Can I eat the last one?"

Michael Cressotti, who was hired after Mathew Akarino left, is proving to be a solid chef, someone who was mostly relegated to sushi and moqueca at Sushi Samba but who is now free to back up his talent with puffy ovals of olive oiled flat bread, wildly flavorful minced lamb kofte, meltingly tender rabbit, and so much more.

We started with a selection of Greek spreads, served in a sectioned Lucite dish with room for four dollops. We chose the creamy, dill-heavy tzatziki, a nice chunky babaganoush, a sweet toasted walnut yogurt, and a very fine hummus (4 for $14) served with aforementioned house-made bread—hot, puffy, and glossy with olive oil. Try to ... [more, click below]

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Other restaurants in Flatiron :
+ Suenos   + Amuse-- Closed   + Dos Caminos   + Lucy-- Closed   + Gramercy Taver   + Veritas   + Fleur De Sel   + Bolo -- CLosed   + City Bakery   + Shake Shack   + Kalustyan's Cafe   + Devi   + BLT Fish   + Sugarcane   + BLT Prime   + Barca 18-- CLOSED   + Beppe   + Barbounia   + Boqueria   + Eleven Madison   + Lonesome Dove-- CLOSED   + Hill Country   + Olana   + Wildwood   + Primehouse   + Allegretti   + Bar Breton   + Aldea   + SD26 by Bao Ong   + ABC Kitchen   + Ciano   + The NoMad   

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