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barbuzzo?

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just opened a few days ago- the menu looks great, has anyone been yet?

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  1. I've been meaning to post about it, I checked it out a couple days ago and it was *great*. I much prefer it to Amis down the street, and to pretty much all of Valerie Safran and Marcie Turney's other restaurants.

    I visited Chicago a while back and had the well-regarded pork rinds at the Publican, Barbuzzo's are much better. I am used to ordering "heirloom tomato" whatever at restaurants and getting crappy tomatoes, but their heirloom tomato salad was made with actual in-season tomatoes. The meatballs were ever so slightly more dense than I like, but the flavor was good enough to overlook that. The budino dessert was fantastic as well.

    My only recommendation would be not to sit at the kitchen counter, at least not until the weather gets a bit cooler. The heat from the stove and ovens is intense.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Buckethead

      im so glad to hear you loved it!! this is exactly the type of place that i had been hoping would pop up. did you try any pastas or pizzas? those looked especially exciting to me

      and thanks for the tip about the kitchen heat- good to keep in mind while we still have a few more hot days left (or so i hope)

      1. re: InSearchOfTacos

        I didn't try a pizza, when we sat down the group next to us had one in front of them and it looked a little undercooked. We did try the gnocchi as well, those were very good too but the other things I mentioned were the standouts. We also had a very good grilled sardine dish.

        1. re: Buckethead

          good to know- thanks!

    2. Once again I am the odd man out but I hated the place ! I had 2 appetizers: the bone marrow and a salad with burrata cheese. For my main course I had the roast chicken, which is what I try in all new restaurants, as my stringent test of attention to detail. Bone marrow is served in very few restaurants in Philadelphia. Currently, I know that Adsum has it on the menu and it has been taken off at Distrito. The version served at Barbuzzo had been split in half ( to allow the lazy customers easy access I guess ) and was luke warm- like it had not been properly reheated ( microwave ? ). Furthermore the marrow had been coated in a nondescript green sauce. The simplicity of just the marrow fished out of a hot bone and spread on some toast is what I was looking for. Burratta is a great cheese with a short shelf life. A very nice aspect of the cheese is the different textures including the runny bits in the middle. The Barbuzzo version had some small slivers of the harder part of the cheese hidden under a huge pile of arugula, and other odds and ends, drenched in vast amounts of sharp vinaigrette. Again, no understanding of simplicity and the main ingredient. The chicken was so-so and a bit dry. As in the case of bindi these entrepreneurs have a total lack of respect for traditions and culture as the basis for cooking. No doubt it will be a great success in giving Americans what they expect and want from an "italian" restaurant.

      1 Reply
      1. re: heineken joe

        Bindi doesn't try to be, or claim to be, traditional. Nor does Lolita, or any of their restaurants - they all state that they are INSPIRED by the cuisine of the area - they take the flavors and some of the basics, but they aren't trying to be authentic.

        I haven't been to Barbuzzo and cannot comment there, but it seems a little ridiculous to fault a restauranteur for not delivering something that they never claim to offer.

      2. Just went last night. I agree with Buckethead that the pork rinds and heirloom tomato salad were both killer. My favorite might have been the sheep's milk ricotta cheese with honey and figs. Holy Cow (or should I say Holy Sheep?), it was so creamy and flavorful that I wanted to lick the plate.

        We also had the grilled sardines and the octopus. The octopus seemed to be baby octopus and was braised until really soft and tender. Both were really tasty.

        We also shared a pitcher of the sangria. It was good, well-balanced (not too sweet or tart), but not mind blowing. I will probably try something else when I return.

        It's restaurant week there now, but we didn't order from the RW menu. For two of us, five plates and a pitcher of sangria, it was $71 before tax and tip. And, we had just enough room left to wedge in some gelato from across the street afterward.

        1. Any more recent reports? Curious about current menu recs, and chime in if you think it's overhyped--this place has so much buzz (no pun intended) that I can't help but wonder. But I didn't love Amis, and I trust buckethead, so that's why I'm going anyway.

          6 Replies
          1. re: barryg

            Thanks! Hope I don't let you down. I've heard from a couple people since I went that the pizzas are kind of the weakest point on the menu (they looked it when I was there), so you may want to skip those on your first visit. I haven't been back since my first time, unfortunately.

            1. re: barryg

              i wasnt blown away by barbuzzo or anything but i did have an enjoyable meal. if i were to go again, id stick mainly to pastas, which i really enjoyed the last (and only) time i went. our vegetable board was kinda boring. pig popcorn was greasy and not that flavorful, i didnt like it too much

              everyone really enjoyed the meatballs. the sardines were my favorite, but mostly bc i love sardines

              sadly we did not have dessert and opted instead for capogiro across the street

              1. re: barryg

                Barbuzzo is very enjoyable even if it doesn't live up to hype. The price point is much lower than Amis - 5 plates (including a pizza) and 4 cocktails for two came to about $90 pre tip. Vegetable plate was outstanding, cheese stuffed meatballs were delicious, uovo pizza was excellent, and roasted bone marrow with a fruit preserve made for a nice twist. Agree that the piggy popcorn was not very good.

                1. re: FattyFatMan

                  This was my experience--very enjoyable and tasty meal. Prices aren't bad for the atmosphere, neighborhood and service.

                  Only disappointments were the pastas--both we tried we undercooked and the "Sunday supper" sauce tasted more like marinara than a sauce that had been simmering with meat all day. The cocktails weren't great, either; I'll stick with wine next time. Very nice meal and I will be back, even though I didn't have a three bell experience for sure.

                  1. re: barryg

                    I think the stong points at Barbuzzo are the antipasti and the Budino dessert. The pizza we ate had a very thin, flabby (for lack of a better word) crust similar to Stella, and was not so hot. If you want good pizza, go to Zavino next door. The salad and the meat board were not earth shattering. I liked the pasta but the rest of my party did not. All in all decent, maybe two bells, but not up to what's being served at Amis.

                    1. re: bluehensfan

                      Ah yes I forgot to add that the budino totally lived up to the hype!