They kept saying the South Street Seaport neighborhood was revitalized, and I didn’t believe it. I remember back when it was a sad mall occupied by third tier brands and bad food. But it really has changed a lot. High end specialty retail stores like 10 Corso Como have set up roots there, and they’ve managed to attract real restaurants to the neighborhood. One destination that is sure to draw people to South Street Seaport is Bar Wayo, the new Momofuku bar located right near the water. It’s a great place to pair fancy cocktails with fancy comfort food. There’s nary a salad or a bowl of olives in sight, and most everything is fried or smothered in mayo like sauces. They’ve perfected the preparation so that we don’t see unappealing grease stains or rings of oil marring the presentation. Bar Wayo South Street Seaport will certainly play a key role in this neighborhood’s revival.
Bar Wayo is a bar first and a restaurant second, but items on both menus are equally appealing. The melon creamy soda caught my eye immediately, as it sounded like a cross between a midori sour and an Asian cream soda, two things that I liked tremendously in my younger days. The finished product didn’t disappoint, and was in fact better than the actual drinks that inspired it. It was hard to make a decision on which cocktail, because how could you resist a peanut butter-washed rum blend in a Zombie Elvis or a New Fashion made with matcha genmaicha? But I think the melon creamy soda would have been the clear winner in any situation.
The half smothered royale, which sounds like something punchy out of a Quentin Tarantino movie, is clearly meant to be a dish on the showier side. An omelet with sausage gravy on a bed of rice sounds like a caricaturized heart attack on a plate, but somehow, when you’re eating it, it feels like you’re eating things in moderation. I give a lot of credit to the kitchen for preparing things with balance so that all the unsightly curdles and globs are nowhere to be seen. I didn’t feel gross after eating it, and I would probably order it again on my next visit there. Speaking of which, I can’t believe I said I’d actually go to the South Street Seaport willingly again. This neighborhood revival thing is really happening.
89 South Street, Pier 17
New York, NY 10038