When other chefs look up to you and call you “Chef Obiwan Kenobi”, you got to be good. Either that or you are tall and old looking. But for Jonathan Waxman, we know he has to be good. He went far on Top Chef Master, and is known for being one of the first few celebrity chefs. So when we saw him on Top Chef Master and the word “Barbuto” that kept appearing under his name, we knew we had to visit that restaurant.
So as part of our room mate bonding Friday, we met at the nice casual open style restaurant for dinner before we started our Dark Knight movie night. David Jiang and Jenny stayed safe with the JW Famous roasted chicken, while me and Titi opted for pasta. We also got a bruschetta to get started.
The bruschetta was really not fantastic. The bread was burnt too much, hence i couldnt taste the olive oil. Or maybe there wasn’t enough olive oil. The roasted egg plant on it was alright. Not mindblowing.
Our entrees came and we were excited to dig in. My pasta didn’t look that appealing. They mixed everything for me so it looked like a mess. Perhaps i had too high an expectation… but to be honest, I could have recreated that dish. The pasta was slightly undercooked. Slightly. Like 20 seconds more in the hot sauce would have done the trick. The sausage was too overpowering to be able to taste the great tomatoes that are in season.
Titi’s Gnocchi however was fantastic. The butter rich potato gnocchi were absolutely delicious. Unfortunately, the serving was ridiculously small. I could eat a whole bucket of that. The tomatoes that came with it were gorgeous sweet cherry heirlooms. And the reduction sauce was flavorful yet refreshing. Perfect Italian dish.
The famous chicken was… obviously good. I mean its famous. And 19 bucks for a half chicken. It better be good.
I was very impressed with how well seasoned the chicken was. It may seem to salty to some, but to be honest, it was perfect. The saltiness really brought out the flavor of the chicken and made it addictive. What really gave it the kick was that parsley and olive oil topping. Perfect. Coursely chopped parsley that has flavors infused into the oils was just filled with the right flavors to go perfectly with the chicken. I couldn’t get enough of that. Simple yet fresh great flavors.
It was a good meal. Not the best. Alright. To be honest, I expected much more. Much much more from obiwan. Especially when he himself was in the kitchen the day we were there. Unfortunately he wasn’t cooking. It was his army of Ecuadorians working their magic in his kitchen. I was expecting to give this restaurant a 4.5. A 4 at the lowest. However, I am forced to give Barbuto 3.5 stars. It would have been lower if it wasn’t for Titi’s perfect Gnocchi.
After the not so amazing meal, we decided to walk home despite of the heat to enjoy the sights and sounds of west village. However, after 10 minutes, we started seeing flashes. We looked up to see large black clouds moving quickly from uptown. It was like from one of those movie scenes when the end of the world is coming, or aliens are attacking us. And then it started to pour. And guess what. We all split up. Shake my head. I got on my bike and dashed home in the pouring rain. Titi apparently ran as fast as she could to the subway station and left Jenny and David behind.
We all got back to the apartment at different times.
Conclusion: If there was ever a zombie infestation, we would all die. Because as much as we constantly talk about how stupid the people in movies are for not sticking together when zombies attack them, apparently we are that stupid as well. I shake my head at us…