Thursday, February 28, 2008

Family-Style Dinner: Barbuto

Wednesday night had a 'Bon Voyage' dinner (the second in a series in which I suspect there will be at least three- this one just happened to be the last one in NYC) for M at Barbuto in the Meatpacking District. The reco came from a co-worker. I love when someone can provide a dining recommendation on the spot--- whenever I am asked, I either can't remember where I've eaten EVER or need to consider several other inputs--- e.g. What neighborhood? What type of cuisine? What atmosphere?. Barbuto was true to its claim of 'casual sophistication'--- it wasn't too hip or trendy to have to battle for a reservation (even if we had not made one, I'm sure it would have been fine for 6PM).

We started with a bottle of Prosecco (to toast M's departure- $30 for the bottle- very reasonable) and the waitress brought out a plate of green and purple olives to start (which the waitress removed too soon- probably my most serious complaint of the evening). The salumi misti was just enough for three, however, we were a little light on the housemade foccacia (we are a family of carb-lovers). Between us we had the pasta w/spicy sausage and lobster (M ordered and wouldn't let me have the same--- we aim to diversify whenever dining out so we can have a bit of everything--- but I really wanted the pasta!), pork tenderloin w/butternut squash (the squash was also served with soft apple chunks which were REALLY delicious--- I think I liked the side more than the pork), tender hangar steak, and a side of roasted fingerling potatoes. For dessert, we shared the cinnamon cake stuffed with walnuts and topped with vanilla gelato (the cake was a little dry, almost like a biscotti).

We never had to wait long for food, the timing of the courses was perfect, and service was consistent but never intrusive. The brick walls, wooden countertops, and wood-brick burning oven made for a comfy/cozy dining experience. I would definitely return if I'm in the neighborhood! Barbuto is a solid choice.

Barbuto (Italian)
775 Washington St.
New York, NY 10014

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