The only thing we like better than eating Josh DeChellis’s Japanese-inspired small plates is eating them for free, and thanks to BarFry’s new happy hour, we all can! West Village drinkers sample DeChellis’s sophisticated fusion creations (the tempura program having been something of a letdown) between 4 and 6 p.m. and again after 11 p.m. “It’s a chance for us to experiment, to essentially recipe-test and see what people think. Then if it goes over, I may add it to the menu,” says DeChellis.
Anyone who stopped in at BarFry in the last few days got to nosh on three bar snacks that DeChellis said were well received: a nori taco, filled with raw tuna and ginger-pickled onions; an “awesome” (per DeChellis) deviled egg topped with Sriracha and tempura flakes; and a grilled shishito pepper wrapped around raw Maine sweet shrimp, dressed with gumbo oil. And what is gumbo oil? It’s oil decanted from a gumbo made especially for this purpose and then discarded. “It’s unbelievably complex and really makes the dish,” says the chef. To go with these freebies, the restaurant is also pushing two-for-one drinks, along with a house cocktail, the Samurai Sling (lager over ice with gin, grapefruit juice, and a little shiso) as well as 64-ounce growlers of DeChellis’s own Gaijin Pale, a beer developed just for him. You can buy the growlers, but you’ll be too drunk to carry them home, so many just stick with a 22-ounce bottle — or two, if it’s happy hour. Snack mix has never looked lamer.