13 Barrow St. Restaurant

Fact Sheet

13 Barrow St. is the work of three veterans of the New York restaurant scene who know what people are looking for—great food served at (almost) any hour. The prices are moderate and the setting is relaxed, attractive yet full of energy. The storefront space has 15-foot ceilings, and deep green upholstered banquettes provide seating. The kitchen is open, and there is a juice bar that offers a changing selection of fresh vegetable and fruit juices as well as a raw bar that has a variety of shellfish from the North Atlantic. The menu is an eclectic selection of dishes interpreted with American ingredients in an American style -bold, simple and full of flavor.

Opened: October, 1995
Owners: John Tesar, John Hawthorn, Michael Misisco
Chef: John Tesar
Hours: Open seven days a week 2 pm until 4 am
Saturday and Sunday brunch 11:30 am to 4 pm
Specialties: Miso Lobster Soup w/ Sesame Crisp Lobster; Double Thick Barbecued Pork Chops w/ Ginger Plum Barbecue Sauce & Moo Shu Pancakes; Tandoori Chicken Pizza; Mixed Berry Bread Pudding
Prices: Moderate, with appetizers $5 to $9; main courses $7 to $20; desserts $5
Credit Cards: American Express, Visa, MasterCard, Diner's Club.
Reservations: Needed for parties of 6 or more. Phone (212) 727-1300.

John Tesar

John Tesar brings classical French training and experience in a variety of kitchens both in the US and abroad to his new restaurant, 13 Barrow St. Tesar has just concluded two years as Executive Chef and partner at The Inn at Quogue. At 13 Barrow St. he plans on offering a wide ranging menu that will include the lively Mediterranean and Asian-influenced American dishes for which he has become known.

Born in 1957 in New York City, Tesar attended New York University. After graduation he moved to Paris where he trained at the prestigious La Varenne Ecole de Cuisine and served apprenticeships at Tour d'Argent, Yan Toit de Passy and Jacques Cagna before returning to the States. He worked at The Sonoma Mission Inn in California and was one of Chef Brendan Walsh's original team at the award-winning Arizona 206 in New York. Tesar left Arizona 206 when he was named chef de cuisine at Jack's 1022 Lexington.

For seven years beginning in 1982, Tesar was the chef and owner of Hampton Square in Westhampton Beach, and it was there that he first received critical acclaim. Under Tesar, Hampton Square was awarded three stars by Newsday and two stars by The New York Times. He followed that stint with two years as Executive Chef of The Supper Club in New York City, before moving on to The Inn at Quogue. Simultaneously with these other positions, Tesar served as personal chef to songstress Mariah Carey and was the chief caterer for the MTV Network when they were on location in the Hamptons.


Black Rice Pudding


For the pudding:

  • 4 oz. Black rice
  • 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
  • 3 Tbsp. Palm sugar
  • 2 cups coconut milk
  • 1 pinch of salt

Before serving:

  • 1/2 cup shredded, toasted coconut
  • 4 Tbsp. coconut cream

Soak and gently wash the rice to remove any talc. Boil rice in enough water to cover until it is tender but not soft. Drain the rice and place it along with all the remaining ingredients in a sauce pan. Heat over a very low temperature until most of the coconut milk has been absorbed.

Divide the pudding between bowls and top with shredded coconut and a spoonful of coconut cream.

Note: At 13 Barrow Street this dessert is served in cup made of deep-fried rice paper, but the warm pudding hardly needs much embellishment.


Miso Lobster Soup
with Sesame Crisp Lobster



For the Court-Bouillon:

  • 2 cups dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup grated carrot
  • 1/2 cup grated onion
  • 1 sprig of thyme
  • 1 bay leave
  • 1 Tbsp. kosher salt

For Soup:

  • 2 each 1-1/4 lb. Lobsters
  • 1 large carrot, finely diced
  • 1 celery stalk, finely diced
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 1 sprig of thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup peanut oil
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1 Tsp. salt
  • 1/4 Cup each white and black sesame seeds
  • 6 oz. fresh enoki mushrooms, wiped of any dirt and broken into spoon size bunches
  • 4-6 Tbsp. Miso paste
  • 4-6 tsp. Wakame dried seaweed
  • 8 oz. soft Japanese style tofu, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 2 scallions, washed and roots removed thinly sliced

In a large stock pot combine the court bouillon ingredients and cover with 2-1/2 quarts of water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Blanch the lobsters in the court-bouillon for 10 minutes. Remove the lobsters from the court-bouillon and cut off the rubber bands around the claws. When the lobsters are cool enough to handle separate the meat from the shells. Reserve the court-bouillon for future use or discard. Do not throw away the lobster shells as they will be used to create the soup stock.

In a large sauce pan combine the diced carrot, celery and onion with the thyme, bay leaf and one tablespoon of the peanut oil. sauté the vegetables until soft but not browned. Add the lobster shells to the pan and add enough water to almost cover. Be careful not to add too much water or the stock will be diluted. It should not take more than 1-1/2 quarts of water to cover-if so, break the shells into smaller pieces. Simmer over low heat for at least one hour. Remove the shells and strain the stock.

In a stainless steel bowl combine the cornstarch, salt and sesame seeds. Cut the lobster meat into spoon size pieces and dampen with a few tablespoons of the stock. In a wok heat the remaining peanut oil until it is quite hot. Test the oil by sticking a dry wooden chop-stick into the oil—if the oil bubbles around it the oil is hot enough. Dredge the lobster meat in the cornstarch mixture and fry it a few pieces at a time until golden. Remove the lobster with a slotted spoon and blot them on paper towels. Dredge the enoki mushrooms in the cornstarch and fry until golden. Drain and blot the mushrooms.

Mix into every two cups of lobster stock 1 teaspoon of dried seaweed and 1 tablespoon of miso paste. Bring the mixture to a boil and stir vigorously to incorporate the miso. Divide the cubed tofu among serving bowls and add the soup. Garnish with thinly sliced scallions, the crispy lobster and the enoki mushroom. Serve immediately.


Provided by 13 Barrow St.

This page originally published as a FoodDay article in 1997.

Copyright © 2007, Forkmedia LLC. All rights reserved.

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This page modified January 2007

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