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Barbuto is one of my old favorites (earlier report here). Although it is on the edge of the Meatpacking District, Barbuto is far more civilized than most of the area’s other restaurants, so I was happy to go back. Temperatures on Saturday evening were just nippy enough that the big garage doors were down. The restaurant was busy, but not full.

I started with roasted butternut squash ($12), followed by the excellent whole grilled black sea bass ($21), which had a nutty crunch. My friend had the salt cod cake ($10), which she loved—it was not too salty, despite the name—followed by the oven roasted chicken ($17). We added a side dish of sautéed greens and ricotta ($6). Although the food was solidly prepared, I noted that there is still no bread service, which seems to me a peculiar omission in a restaurant of such ambition.

We were irritated to find that the wine list had few reds under $50, and indeed many well over $70. It seems to me that at a restaurant with entrées in the high teens and low twenties, good bottles under $50 shouldn’t be so hard to come by. We settled on a $40 bottle that was adequate, but unimpressive.

After dinner, we headed over to Brandy Library for a brandy tasting and some gougères. We should end more evenings that way.

Barbuto (775 Washington Street at West 12th Street, West Village)

Food: *
Service: *
Ambiance: *
Overall: *

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