October 16, 2014
Food: 2.5 / 4
Service: 2 / 3
Atmosphere: 2.5 / 3
Betches, meet Barbuto -- the chic, yet simple West Village restaurant that makes it OK to eat in a garage.
Overall, we give this place two thumbs-up emojis because the kale was damn good and everything else was like, fine.
As alluded to above, this place used to be a garage. As a result, it's encased with operable garage doors that can open up the entire restaurant to the street. In other words, when your annoying friends "like, wanna eat outside!!!" but you don't want to fuck up your blowout, suggest this place. Garage doors aside, everything else is pretty nondescript.
Honestly, you could even wear Converses and nobody would care. This place touts itself as a locals' favorite--and when it comes to West Villagers, anything goes. We advise just showing up as a more eccentric version of yourself (unless yourself = bandage dresses and knockoff Louboutins).
Nothing we ordered screamed "INSTAGRAM ME!" And there wasn't anything obvious to snap in the restaurant itself (like those stupid neon-light signs that we see in so many restaurants these days). But the unique indoor/outdoor vibe would make a killer backdrop for a group shot, so there's that, especially if you're trying to Insta during the day. Also, Barbuto has an amazing Instagram account of their own with a shit ton of followers.
On a busy weekday evening, the host had NO PROBLEM seating our party even though one of our besties was late showing up. ("I had a meeting!" Translation: "Charlee was just SO amazing that I could NOT leave before the stretch!") And since betches are usually late as fuck, we could not have been more thrilled that this restaurant could give two shits whether your party is partially incomplete or not.
That said, the waitress was unwilling to let us order some apps before deciding on our main courses or request that the kitchen prepare a dish without nuts. This was super annoying since one of our friends is allergic to nuts. (Probably a lie.) Besides for shoving their nuts in our face, service was legit and well-paced.
On one hand, we recommend this place for a date spot. It's not too pricey, so you won't look a Kardashian-grade gold-digger for recommending it. And it happens to be located near decdent post-date destinations like The Rusty Knot and The Jane. But the restaurant's lofty ceilings make it like, really difficult to hear what the fuck anyone is saying. So only come here with a date if you're just sooo in love that you don't even need words to communicate.
The restaurant offers an obvious seasonal menu, but who doesn't love some classic fall ingredients? And while all of the menu items are listed in Italian, we didn't really notice a hint of Italian in any of the items besides the pastas.
Here's a rundown of what we ordered:
Insalata di cavolo: AKA KALE SALAD: (kale, anchovy dressing, pecorino & breadcrumbs) This kale number is rumored to be one of the best in the city. Having tried many kale salads, we can certainly say it's up there. Despite the anchovies, which are used in the dressing, it was quite delicious. (Note to chef: you shouldn't even mention it in the menu description because like who the fuck wants anchovies.)
Cauliflower Salad: This was perfect. A unique dish which satisfied our love for cauliflower.
Gnocchi: Though very decadent looking, it was a little tasteless aside from the big chunks of butternut squash, which were AMAZING.
Costine di maiale: pork spare ribs & scallion mostarda: Not quite as indulgent tasting as some of the ribs that we've tried at other restaurants. But for that reason, we didn't feel too guilty after eating these.
Pesce spada ai ferri: AKA SWORDFISH (swordfish,tuscan kale, roast tomato& raisin): very good. flavorful and not too fishy.
Broccoli side: Extremley light, steamed broccoli a top a bed of raisins. This is something we could have made at home, but it was perfect.
So Betches, if you're looking for a place to "park it" (HAHA because it's a garage!) for a few hours in the West Village, we definitely recommend Barbuto.
775 Washington Street
New York, NY 10014