Went to Barbone on Ave B Sat night. Got seated in the back garden which had a nice relaxing feel. Bread basket, wine list and menus were brought immediately. We were also seating about 5 min from our reservation time.
Appetizers - Watermelon and Feta salad. The watermelon was not fresh, there was hardly any feta and it was swimming in balsamic.
Asparagus fries - bland and needed the sauce to be enjoyable
Fried Artichoke - Nothing special
The entrees were chestnut ravioli with brown butter and sage sauce. Excellent flavor and not too sweet.
Black Pepper Paparadelle with wild boar ragu. Nice flavor but a little dry. Could have used more sauce. The last entree was Chicken Liver ravioli with a balsamic glaze. This was absolutely horrific. The liver flavor was so strong and the ravioli were drowning in balsalmic vinegar.
After the plates were cleared we were hoping to end the meal with a nice dessert and coffee. Unfortunately the waiter never came back. 15 min later I asked a bus boy for some desert menus. They never came either. When the waiter finally walked by we asked for the check. "Not interested in desert?" he asked. We were 20 min ago but now we will just take the check.
All in all not a place I would return to.
Sorry to hear your experience was so bad. Mine was much better, though it was marked by spotty service at the end of our meal, but to compensate, they brought 2 desserts for the 6 of us to share.
Our watermelon salad was fresh with just a drizzle of balsamic & a fair amount of feta. I like the asparagus once I salted it a little more. Agree on the artichoke being good, but not anything special.
I cannot speak of the Ckn. Liver Ravioli - I had Carbonara that was very well done. The paparadelle i tasted was good, not dry at all.
For apps we had the fried artichoke (simple but good) and the lamb cervello (my first time eating brain so I don't have much means of comparison). For second course we also had the chestnut agnolotti and the papardelle and thought both were wonderful. I did not find the latter too dry at all, often in Italy that is how pasta is served (as the center of the dish, when homemade as they are at Barbone) with a sauce simply accentuating the pasta. We felt the flavors/textures of both pastas were spot on and quite distinct from one another. For third course we had the seabass with fennel which was alright, though somewhat bland. Likewise the dessert were just alright. That being said I would definitely go back there, if only for the reasonable $35 five-course pasta tasting. That coupled with an interesting/affordable wine list and an attractive spacious back garden where you aren't sitting on your neighbors lap. Unfortunately not all places can master a flawless complete menu, but pastas are definitely their strength and it is worth going back just for them. Nothing in our meal was as markedly bad as the OPs experience, rather some dishes were just alright but some were definitely memorable.
Wow. What a great collection of reviews. Thanks, all three of you! This is what I wish all restaurant reviews on here were like!
I think Barbone's biggest problem is that on busy nights with the garden packed, the kitchen and staff are overwhelmed. My best meals there have always been on slow weeknights or in the winter when the garden was closed.
Wow...I appreciate your review, but my experience there honestly resembled the taste of Italian food in Italy. I had the pesto ricotta/roasted tomato appetizer and the ricotta gnochi with wild mushrooms. Both were to die for...fresh, flavor-full, simply mouth-watering. I haven't been able to stop talking about it for a week. And the others I was with enjoyed their food equally--duck ravioli, lasagna, and calamari appetizers were all delicious. The service was a bit spotty, but was overridden by the fabulous food. Crazy how different people's experiences can be!
Three of us were there last thursday night...sat in the garden and had a nice meal. But, it was pretty evident that the pastas were the way to go.
For what its worth, I asked "Is the head chef here tonight?" and the waiter responded "yes, the chef is here every night, except for Wednesdays sometimes." So, maybe avoid wednesdays.