What do you get when you take great food, a fun atmosphere, and mix it with some fabulous country tunes (and yes, we’re talking borderline rock ones no one could potentially be ashamed of)? You get Back Forty, a recent arrival to the East Village restaurant scene. They even offer nice small wine quartinos that equate to about a glass and a half for only $9-$11. The pinot bianco, one of their offerings that particular day, was a crisp refreshing way to start the meal. I honestly can’t complain about a thing we tried. We started with two sides — the beer battered onion rings with smoked paprika mayo (mmm – just the perfect degree of kick) and the spring artichoke hearts. Of the two, the artichoke hearts were more bland, although they were definitely not as heavy as the onion rings. Their fries seasoned with rosemary sea salt were some of the best fries I’ve had in the city, and came with a spicy homemade ketchup I wish you could buy. Amazing.
I went for the whole grilled Catskill trout, which I was relieved to find came without the head attached. The cilantro salsa verde really brought out the flavor of the fish. I might be spoiled from simple butter sauce with trout going forward. Their dessert of the day was a blueberry pie, which was a perfect finale to an upscale down-home meal with a slight fair. If it’s a nice day, you can also opt to dine on their nice back patio. For an East Village restaurant, I’d say this one has pretty decent seating along with decent prices to boot. Seeing as there were quite a few other menu items that grabbed my attention (namely the blue crab roll… the garlic marinated rotisserie chicken… yeah, lots of things), I know I will be back for more.
Back Forty – 190 Avenue B @ 12th Street