Restaurant of the Week: Cabrito

Whitney Spaner

One man's trash is another man's treasure, as they say. That adage holds true for David Schuttenberg (Fatty Crab), the executive chef of Cabrito, which replaced the abruptly shuttered BarFry, whose tempura-fried treats landed with a thud. It seemed to take less than a month for the small space on Carmine and Bedford to transform from its stark white interior to the aqua-hued, ceramic-tiled and neon sign-speckled décor of Cabrito. Now bustling with people, the festive space offers a fun time with friends over big plates of upscale versions of Mexican favorites (with prices to match). There are enchiladas (vegetarian or chicken), tacos and huaraches, which sound like a shoe but proved to be a fried masa shell piled high with spicy tender meat (skirt steak, in our case), lettuce, radishes and spicy sour cream ($14). Drinks include stalwarts like sangria (Spanish, not Mexican, but never mind since our overly enthusiastic waitress informed us it was not available that night), and margaritas flavored with watermelon, hibiscus or just good old citrus, which were strong on flavor but weak on tequila. Cabrito means “goat” in Spanish, and appropriately enough, the house specialty featured slow-roasted goat meat rubbed with sour orange, garlic and chili, served with tortillas, sour cream and pickled onions ($23). I'm more of a primary meats kind of girl (beef, chicken, pork), so I supplemented the cabrito with delicious chicken enchiladas ($14) smothered in a tomatillo gravy-like sauce -- but where were the beans and rice? I also liked the hot, chewy tortilla chips dipped in homemade guacamole ($8), but there is certainly better and cheaper Mexican food to be had in the city. However, I will return for the ambiance, and oh, yes, the $4 PBRs!

50 Carmine St., (212) 929-5050

Photo from Thrillist

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