Best Bites: Bistro Barbès' Moroccan Potatoes

May 16 2014, 10:30 AM

At Bistro Barbès, Moroccan potatoes get a sophisticated twist.

Chef Jon Robbins has joined a class of Bonanno Concepts alumni (Alex SeidelJustin BrunsonSteve AlleeRoyce OliveriaJean-Philippe FailyauRob LawlerJoe Walker, and Brett Shaheen) who have gone on to create great things. In Robbins' case, he was the mastermind behind the Gypsy Kitchen pop-up supper club before he opened Bistro Barbès three weeks ago. The 30-seater in Park Hill, which sits in the former home of Satchel's, functions as Robbins' ode to classic French cuisine with Spanish, North African, and Middle Eastern influences. The dishes, fragrant with harissa, turmeric, and baharat, reflect his time living in the multicultural Parisian neighborhood of Barbès.

Thanks to Robbins' creative mind and the restaurant's minimal storage space, the tightly edited menu of 12 items and two desserts evolves constantly. The Moroccan potatoes are worth rushing in for. With this dish, Robbins gives Moroccan potato salad a sophisticated spin. "We added artichokes and egg to give a bit of a Nicoise twist," he says. The dish's most arresting element is the use of baharat, a spice blend common to Middle Eastern cuisine. Robbins and his crew make their own baharats; this one speaks of cardamom, coriander, cumin, and turmeric. Finally, the egg mimosa, a finely shaved hardboiled egg, adds delicate texture and flourish.

Perhaps the best part: This thoughtful, redolent salad runs just $9. Pair it with the cod—which is served in a silky lemongrass broth with beech mushrooms, nubs of brightly flavored fava bean tapenade, and grilled ramps—and you're only out $29.

Tip: Intrigued by baharat? Pick up a jar of the blend from Savory Spice Shop. I sprinkle it on eggs, inside sandwiches, and on top of avocado toast.

5021 E. 28th Ave., 720-398-8085

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