Sunday, April 8, 2012

Review: Barbuzzo

If you asked me to recommend a Mediterranean restaurant, I would immediately say, Barbuzzo! Barbuzzo is located on South 13th St. When I went to Barbuzzo for dinner the whole restaurant, including the bar, was full of people. The space is not that, but there are many small tables, so the experience was cozy yet lively, thanks to the many visitors all excited to eat delicious food that night. At the bar were oriental lamps attached to the ceiling that immediately caught my eyes. The interior design definitely added to the exotic yet modern atmosphere of the restaurant.

To start off our night, my friend and I shared Sheep’s Milk Ricotta, which was a small appetizer dish. It comes with a grilled – but soft – French country bread, so you can spread the cheese over the bread! Balsamic vinegar and olive oil are already poured over the cheese, and this combination of balsamic vinegar, olive oil, sheep’s milk ricotta cheese and the bread creates the taste of heaven in your mouth. Even the bread itself is downright delicious.

Then we tried the Casarecce, a pasta that has mushrooms, arugula, walnut pesto sauce and whipped ricotta. It had a unique taste, especially because of the mushrooms and walnuts. The pasta noodles were soft and had absorbed the sauce, and we loved their rich flavor and savory aroma. We also got the Fruitwood Smoked Pork Tenderloin, but we didn’t really like it. The meat was not soaked in any sauce, so we could only taste the grilled pork as we were chewing. The pork was tough and dry. Actually, when we asked the waiter about the most popular “plate” menu, he told us that it was Caciocavallo Stuffed Meatballs. I thought to myself, “how tasty can a meatball get?” and decided not to order it. However, I soon regretted my decision when I saw the table behind me greatly enjoying the meatballs they had ordered.

Finally, my friend and I shared the Salted Caramel Bundino from the dessert menu. It is the most popular dessert at Barbuzzo, and we agreed that it is, indeed, amazing. The salty flavor blended well with the soft, sweet vanilla bean caramel, and as for the dark chocolate crust at the bottom… we couldn’t stop blurting out "OMG!" and “so good!” as we were eating.

Finally, if you are craving for a sweet cocktail drink at Barbuzzo, go for Sanguinello! It is mixed with orange, blood orange puree, Chambord and lime. Sanguinello is one of the few sweet cocktails there. The waiter recommended Basil Lemonade, but it wasn’t sweet and the taste/aroma of basil was too strong.

Overall, dining at Barbuzzo was without a doubt a wonderful experience. I would definitely go there again, but next time I’m going to try the Barbuzzo “Pig Popcorn”, the appetizer the food critics have raved about, and the meatballs, of course.

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