Barca Brings Manhattan-Style Dining to Staten Island

Feb 09, 2019 368

BY: Hannah Goldfield

It’s tempting to underestimate Staten Island, a borough whose main attractions include a public park built on a landfill called Fresh Kills. The other night at Barca, a new Italian seafood restaurant in Stapleton, a neighborhood on the island’s northeastern coast, a server couldn’t resist delivering a self-deprecating, faux-pretentious riff on the local water: “Do you want frizzante, or Staten Island tap? Staten Island tap, it’s a little volcanic!”

The water may not have been volcanic, but the wine was. On another evening, I asked for a recommendation—a crisp, mineraly red that would pair well with fish. One of Barca’s owners, Vic Rallo, wearing a camo-print trucker hat, launched into a detailed explanation of the 2017 Tenuta delle Terre Nere Etna Rosso, which originated in the rocky, lava-rich soil of Sicily—among the hardest places on earth to grow grapes, he pointed out. “If you can conquer those places . . . ,” he said, trailing off.

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