Jonathan Waxman’s Barbuto
They called him “Yoda.” Not knowing who Yoda is I didn’t know what that meant, but I assumed it to be a good thing. I’m talking about Jonathan Waxman, one of the most celebrated chefs in America right now. So when I had dinner at Barbuto the other night, I was as excited as a kid in a candy shop, or if you know me, then just as excited as when I am in a candy shop at any age. What was great about Barbuto was that the atmosphere was far from stuffy and snobby at all. It was casual dining and really laidback.
What can I say about the food? Jonathan Waxman seems all about simple, but really good food. It was more about bringing out what each product had to offer, rather than trying to be all fancy schmancy.
Gnocchi pomodoro: Gnocchi with sun gold cherry tomatoes and local corn. The outside was crispy and the inside was so tender. It definitely did taste like local corn and I appreciated how naturally sweet it was.
Insalata casa: Baby mixed lettuces, chameh melon and watermelon radish. A simple salad, but so refreshing and there is a reason for every component of this dish. And I must say, chameh melon is something that you don’t normally see on any menu, so it was a very pleasant surprise. What I loved about this salad was the light dressing and that even though there was fruit in it, it didn’t taste like a fruit salad.
Costoletta di maiale: Braised hamsphire pork ribs and green tomato marmellata. The funny thing is that it tastes very similar to the Asian boiled spare rib recipe I wrote about recently. I was expecting slightly more to this dish, maybe something with a strong flavor, but then again, maybe my family had a really good spare rib recipe so I should just be spankin’ pleased that Jonathan Waxman had something so similar in his restaurant.
Chocolate pudding: Think of chocolate pudding at its finest. It was rich, but not too sweet, definitely a grown up version that you will not want to stop eating.
8 out of 10
775 Washington St | At W 12th St