Since the day we launched this website as a side project from our full time jobs in the music business, it has been, and continues to be a labor of love. "Labor" comes in the form of lots of late night meals and early morning writing. The love part is our passion for eating good food and running our mouths about it (we also kind of love taking it to the house on bad restaurants when necessary). Next week, we'll hit one hundred reviews on The Infatuation. Along the way to one hundred, we've only come across a few places that were new to us and blew our minds. Barbuto is one of them.
Barbuto is a laid back, rustic Italian restaurant occupying a garage in the West Village. It's been around for a while and is certainly no secret, but we had our first dinner there last week and felt the need to give it our stamp of approval. The menu is seasonal and constantly changing, which means that the food rundown below will be all but worthless in a few days. At any rate, all you need to know is that our meal at Barbuto was fantastic from start to finish. Simple food, top quality ingredients, a good wine and beer list...all the makings of an Infatuation mainstay. We love the atmosphere too. It's a trendy spot, but for a more sedate group...not the hair gel and high heels crowd that you find a few blocks north in the meatpacking district. Also recommended - get a big group together and book a reservation for the chef's table in the open kitchen. It might be the best group dining situation in the city.
Right in line with the changing season, this is a fall salad with julienne honeycrisp apples, frisee, candied walnuts, and thyme. Amazing.
A fantastic starter dish - baby octopus tossed with fingerling potatoes and olives. The octopus is a bit crispy and a nice contrast to soft and salty potatoes.
We've heard claims that this is the world's best chicken. It's very good, but might not even be the West Village's best chicken (see Commerce). Regardless, don't skip it.
Skirt steak - if you've read more than three reviews on this site, this will sound familiar. We like skirt steak. A lot. It's hard to screw up. This one is good. High fives all around.
Potato gnocchi tossed with a variety of cherry tomatoes. This was very good -nice and light. The problem is that right next to it on the table sat a giant bowl of rigatoni with sausage, and I was distracted.
If I could, I would have unhinged my jaw like a snake just to get more of this into my mouth at once. The spicy sausage ragu is amazing.
This swordfish was probably the least popular thing on our table, mostly because it was overdone and a bit dry.