775 Washington Street www.barbutonyc.com
I’ve walked past this place a few times, and it always looks so happening and trendy. I tried walking in for a meal this summer, but they told me no chance without a res. Whatever. So I made a reservation last night and went with a friend to finally try it out.
The space has an industrial look with high ceilings and garage doors as walls, that open up in the summer. Theres a nice buzz inside, and it’s filled with good-looking, and wealthy looking people. I love the fact that the kitchen is open, so you can see the chef’s running around making the food; similar to Dell’Anima.
We ordered the grilled pork loin with chestnuts and mashed rutabaga which was a solid, quality meal, though I don’t recall tasting the chestnuts. We also had the gnocchi with butternut squash, baby spinach, and fonduta, which was better than average, though I wish this dish did more for me. I was hoping for that. Is gnocchi supposed to be just little balls of dough? There’s gotta be more to it. The butternut squash added a nice fruity taste, and without it, the dish would’ve been bland.
To be honest, I had a tough time understanding what type of cuisine it was. There were a few dishes on the menu that had salsa in them, so I figured it had some sort of South American or Mexican twist. But then again, gnocchi is Italian.
As a great restaurant, you need to have a distinct identity. I think the menu plays it safe. I like when restaurants take more of a risk, and have more unique and wild creations.
I’ll go back, but in the summer when the garage doors are open, and I’ll try the chicken, which people tell me is their best dish.