On a bright February afternoon, my friend and I met up in the Meatpacking District at Barbuto, in this garage space that had long ago been converted into one of New York’s seminal restaurants of the last ten years.
The restaurant is expansive and airy. During warmer days the walls along the street can be drawn up (garage doors) to make the whole place an al fresco experience, and even with the window-doors down, the place is exceptionally bright.
I’ve read about the jw roasted chicken, and liked the easy-going Californian spirit, but I mostly knew of the restaurant as a kitchen where some of people whose cooking I really like had previously cooked there – namely Justin Smillie and Ignacio Mattos. Chef-owner Jonathan Waxman is a bit of a godfather figure, having been on the ground floor of Californian cuisine and then bringing that aesthetic to New York.
There’s not much else, just relaxed but thoughtful dishes, highlighted by that ridiculous, baller roast chicken.
Shaved brussel sprouts with hazelnuts. Refreshing, with the crunch of leafy greens and toasted hazelnuts. Could eat this all day. Roasted chicken with salsa verde (“pollo al forno”), in a shallow pool of oil. Crispy, flavorful skin, with tender meat. The sausage (chorizo?) pizza with greens (broccoli rabe? kale?). Flavorful, but not particularly memorable. Barbuto (menu)
775 Washington St, New York, NY 10014