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Restaurants, Uruguayan Williamsburg
3 out of 5 stars

Time Out says

3 out of 5 stars

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Sometimes, ambience is enough. Tabare, a new Uruguayan restaurant in Williamsburg, doesn’t offer the most inspiring introduction to its country’s meatcentric cuisine, but the familial service and cozy environs are still plenty appealing. The restaurant—like an oceanfront cabana transplanted to Brooklyn—is a chic hodgepodge of beachy touches (uneven wood walls, a tropical garden wedged into a rear alcove) and rustic flea-market finds (antique photos, old bottles). The young expats behind this endearing retreat are as attentive and thoughtful as dinner-party hosts, one evening decanting a BYO bottle of wine into a pitcher (their liquor license is pending) and rushing out bug spray to ward off a sudden swarm of midsummer mosquitoes. The food has a rough-hewn, home-cooking quality that matches the restaurant’s ultracasual vibe. Thick-sliced chorizo, simply roasted in the cast-iron cazuela it’s served in, arrives nicely stippled with fat. Caseless morcilla looks like an amorphous blob—the blood pudding in a dense heap atop a crisp crouton—but has great, earthy flavor. Uruguay, like its neighbor Argentina, has a large population of immigrant Italians, and their lingering influence is evident in a chicken cutlet special, topped with tomato sauce, mozzarella and ham—a rather dull and amateurish hybrid of cordon bleu and chicken Parmesan. A better bet for a real taste of Uruguay is the monster chivito completo—the country’s national sandwich and a delicious, salty mess with its seared sliced beef tenderloin stacked high with bacon, mozzarella and a fried runny egg. For dessert there’s an rich, creamy flan, the highlight of a small selection of sweets. Though the food overall isn’t exceptional, Tabare is certainly an inviting neighborhood spot. In hipster-hardened Williamsburg, charm can go a long way.

By: Time Out New York editors



Address: 221 South 1st St
Cross street: between Driggs Ave and Roebling St
Transport: Subway: L to Bedford Ave
Price: Average main course: $14. Cash only
Opening hours: Mon–Thu 5–11pm, Fri 5pm–midnight, Sat noon–midnight, Sun noon–11pm
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