Barka in Mountain Lakes

While the fish we ate tasted as if it just jumped out of the water the accompanying sauces were bland.

There is an enticing fish display at the entrance to this newly opened restaurant including whole fish for one or two from Greece, Spain, Portugal or locally sourced. While the fish we ate tasted as if it just jumped out of the water, the accompanying sauces were bland.

The visibly appealing Barka signature shellfish tower, a few of which we saw coming out of the kitchen, will set you back $129 and includes a 1lb Alaskan king crab, 2 whole lobsters, 8 shrimp, 12 oysters, 12 clams and 24 mussels. Along with many fish options available char grilled or pan seared, meat lovers are not forgotten and can have choices of filet mignon, strip steak Delmonico, lamb or pork chops. Pasta dishes are also available and can also be ordered gluten free or with whole-wheat pasta.

When seated, a basket of bread and bowls containing hummus, sliced radishes and green and black olives were placed on the table. We started with a special of grilled calamari served without the tentacles and although this mollusk came with capers and red peppers, we had to add squirts of lemon to it in order to boost the flavors. Ditto for the fish that we ordered as entrees.

Lowell opted for the char grilled Royal Dorado from Cypress in a lemon olive oil sauce plated with escarole and one little wedge of lemon potato. My halibut, while worth ordering, was accompanied with overcooked and mushy butternut squash risotto and two grilled asparagus. A side of escarole as well as a side of kale and Bortolotti beans were oily.

Both the baklava and revani, a lemon semolina cake were scrumptious but the milopita, a Greek apple cake, was served hot and had a soggy crust.

Although our waiter was attentive, specials were recited without the prices, we waited 45 minutes for our appetizer and within a second of finishing our appetizer, our entrees were brought to the table. At 6 PM on a Saturday night the restaurant was painfully noisy.

The wine list ranges from $24 to $375 with many choices in the $30 to $50 range. We had a lovely Lyrarakis Vilana 2014 white wine from Crete that was a reasonably priced at $30. Vivino, an app, listed the average retail price as $16.99.

Open year round including Christmas and New Year’s Day. Happy Hour is daily from 3 to 6 PM.

60 US Highway 46
Mountain Lakes


Grilled halibut
Photo courtesy of Lowell Saferstein
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