Top Cuisine for Manhattan Foodies: Blanca

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Neighborhood Spotlight: Hudson Yards

Blanca

The first thing you notice about this establishment is the way you feel walking in. And, by the time you pass through the trendy, gritty pizzeria out front and then pass the tiki bar, that feeling is likely to be apprehension. It’s a little suspect anywhere… but in Bushwick, Brooklyn? Still further through this winding maze is the entrance to Blanca.

At Its Heart, It’s a Big Kitchen in a Garage

The converted garage that Blanca calls home is surprisingly airy and light. There are only twelve seats (yes, seat, not tables) along a counter with views of the open kitchen. Without a doubt, the workspace takes up most of the establishment. There is very little décor though a record player softly strums rock hits in the background.

Blanca grew from the roots of that pizza place out front. There, Chef Carlo Mirarchi tempted diners with an extensive tasting menu a few, overbooked, evenings a week. The food was sublime, and customers begged for more. And so, the rambling journey to one of Brooklyn’s finest restaurants began.

There is no menu at Blanca; you are served what the kitchen creates. And, if you have extreme gluten or seafood allergies, you may want to look elsewhere (but you can convey food sensitivities when booking). What you can expect is 20 to 30 of the most incredible taste sensations you are ever likely to experience. When food critics rave the way they do about Blanca, you have to take it seriously.

Each amuse-bouche should be savored, however small, and most diners don’t find it difficult. If you are settled on a particular drink, you’re welcome to choose from the fully stocked bar. A better option is the sake, beer, and wine pairing by talented sommelier Shanti Carson.

The Humility of Blanca Is Extraordinary

With two Michelin stars, consistent rave reviews in the media, and more awards possibly tucked behind the tiki bar, it’s almost astonishing that the restaurant doesn’t boast openly on their website. (They don’t even mention the Michelins though they do warn you that you’re likely to wait an exceptional amount of time for a booking).

Then again, if you’re going to share a rather intimate dinner with just eleven other people, you want a kitchen and an establishment that can keep a secret.

What You Need to Know

Blanca opens on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday for seatings at 6 pm and 9 pm. On Saturday, you might be able to find a table at 5 pm or 8 pm. You can book for a maximum party of four people, but you may need thirty to sixty days to seat that many. On your own, you might squeeze a place this evening. All reservations are handled through an online booking system accessible through Blanca’s website.

The set tasting menu is $195 per person, the pairing menu is $95, and neither of those includes taxes or gratuity.

Fortunately for first-time diners, a host greets guests at Roberta’s Pizzeria. You’ll find it at 261 Moore Street, Brooklyn 11206.

Ed Longley
Ed Longley

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