775 Washington St., New York, NY, 10014
at 12th St.
By docpark on 4/7/2004
Relaxed atmosphere, excellent bar, service a tad slow with crowding, did not need a reservation (~8pm), roasted mussels well prepared, monkfish excellent, ribeye/chili pepper excellent, pork ribs okay. Three people, two bottles of pinot grigio, three entrees, an appetizer, two sides, and a Manhattan -$172 -what's not to like
By brekstar on 4/8/2004
A service, seating and eye-burning nightmare. I ran out to Barbuto after reading Adam Platt's rave review online. Our table was in the middle of the overcrowded main dining room, and we all spent most of our evening scooching ever closer to the table while waiters and runners bumped into and slid by us all evening. We waited 15 minutes for our drinks and 45 for our food, which was fine quality, but not anything special. The asaparagus appetizer and the duck were tasty. The polenta was blander than bland. The lamb and risotto were fine, but eh. The wood burning oven kept filling the room with smoke, which made everyone in our party's eyes burn. Our waiter was clueless and put the wrong amount on our credit cards (we split the check), and I felt like I'd been taken by the time we left. Maybe our experience was an anomoly, an off night for a new restaurant is not uncommon. And certainly Mr. Waxman's repuation and past successes are worth noting. But I don't want to risk another unpleasent evening—even if the chef has Alice Water's phone number.
By mmasi on 4/12/2004
Don't waste your money and time. I went with 4 people and all four of us thought the food was simply bad. I had the lamb and could only eat 2 bites of it (the rest was fat). I had to send it back and get the chicken which was mediocre at best. I would definitely not recommend this rest to anybody!!
By ekb on 6/14/2004
My husband and I went one night because we thought a)it must be full every night for a reason and b)because we live practically across the street. Don't be fooled! The first time we went the food was simply not very good and certainly overpriced. We also ran into some friends there that had waited over 1/2 hour for their reservation and were then seated at an inside, uncomfortable table. OK, maybe an off night. Then my dad came to town and he and his girlfriend were very impressed with the open air feel and so we went for a drink. They insisted on trying dinner there so we sat down. Veal was tasteless and seemingly doused with chili powder, the risotto was bland, bland and more bland and the fish and quail were average at best. We sent the veal back and we should have sent the risotto back. I will never go back there and furthermore, every time I walk by I will continue to giggle at the New Yorkers who are eating there thinking they are so 'in' because someone told them it was hip to eat there. What a waste of money.
By samjones on 6/19/2004
The food has some originality to it, but overall it is not a special place. Jonathan Waxman has done much better in the past.
By Rahema on 7/11/2004
Jonathan, what happened to you? The food here, to put it not-so-delicately, sucks. But we love Mary behind the bar, who makes a mean custom cocktail and entertains us with her sardonic wit. She is the only reason (that and the occasional sight of James Gandolfini walking by with his kid) we go back.
By Lata on 8/3/2004
We had a large table with a group of ten in the kitchen. We let Jonathan Waxman select the menu. We were treated great and the food was outstanding. The atmoshpere was perfect; it was relaxed and fun but with allot of attention given to the quality of food and the service which was superb. Everyone just seemed relaxed, enjoyed the food, and had fun.
By pluteeater on 8/6/2004
I was completely disappointed with our experience. After being told that we had to surrender our table at a certain time, i was served and under-cooked/seasoned roast chicken that I ordered per the ny times reccomendation. Rare chicken is not good. Had to scream in order to be heard over the noisy dining room. Go at your own risk.
By johnny3 on 10/18/2004
Order quickly, eat fast, drink and leave. There's an element of clambouring evident amongst diners, waiting staff and presumably in the kitchen. It all however works. The food matches this approach, to the point. The skirt steak with chilli stood out - good piece of meat, simple chilli/oil "dressing" with a few side dishes was ideal. I cannot disagree with the adverse issues raised by others, but simply point out that in no way is this somewhere to be fawned over and nor it should be because it's not intended to be dull.
By memnova on 3/1/2005
Barbuto has a really creative interior, with garage doors made of glass that can open when it gets warmer. If you are cold-natured like me, then you would do best not to sit next to the windows because the room gets a bit chilly. It took a few minutes to get our table, but fortunately the maitre d' let us pick a table other than the one right next to the door. I had the mushroom soup and then the mushroom risotto (I was on a mushroom kick, even though this is probably the height of unsophisticated dining). The soup was a bit odd, really more of a vegetable soup than a mushroom one. And the risotto, while well-cooked, was rather bland. My friend had the roast chicken, which he liked, as well as a winter salad, which he called "interesting." The wine list is pretty expensive, with the lowest being in the $40 range. The service was unremarkable, but I was unsatisfied with the fact that I had to pour my own wine. I passed on dessert, since I didn't want to increase my disappointment.