Arba Restaurant Review

Perri's review of her experience at Arba.

Perri Rosman '20

Arba: the Hebrew word for four. This fairly new Mediterranean-style restaurant adapts its menu four times each year. This fall, I ventured out to the Upper West Side of Manhattan, along with my friend Melissa, a former restaurant owner, to give Arba a try.
Despite arriving thirty minutes early, Melissa and I were welcomed in. As we sat down at our square wooden table, I quickly noticed the clean and sleek vibe throughout. Dimmed light fixtures of different shapes and sizes hung from the ceiling at varying lengths. An arrangement of plants sat high on a shelf with their leaves draping, contributing to the airness of the room. It was modern, yet still maintained a warm and inviting feeling throughout.

Our waiter, Talia, handed us the menu consisting of nine different categories. To start, we ordered the hummus za’atar and Mashwaih to go alongside the freshly baked za’atar flatbread. Dipping the hot flatbread in the creamy hummus brought back memories of eating at Hummus Elite on my last trip to Israel. The Mashwaih’s chilled temperature worked perfectly with its kick of heat. Next came out a red lentil soup ($9) with a side of cooling herb dip, and a smoky eggplant soup ($10) presented in a kettle to be poured in front of us.
Subsequently came out our mains: mushroom, mozzarella, truffle pecorino flatbread ($19) and smoked branzino with caramelized onion and crisp rice ($29). The fish had a creamy onion sauce, and a sprinkle of crunchy rice on top. Alongside our mains, we nibbled on the best hand cut za’atar fries dipped in a sumac dip ($9). The sumac lent a beautiful pink color that was eye catching.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dessert: my favorite part of any outing. Despite being overly full, we were eager to see what sweets the dessert menu entailed. Fervent to try them all, we ordered the petit fours. All of them were mouthwatering, and each complimented the next! The velvety, bittersweet , salted caramel dark chocolate truffle was by far my favorite. Before I knew it, the desserts disappeared, leaving me with not a single picture. Then suddenly, as our time at Arba was coming to an end, Chef Nir Zook appeared. He greeted us with a pleasant smile, giving me the courage to start a conversation. We chatted a little while about the food, the flavor, and our overall experience. He handed me his business card, and wished us farewell. To really remember the splendid night, he offered to take a picture of us and said, “I hope to see your review in the New York Times.”