Barbuzzo or bust!
Famed for several fantastic taste-bud twisting restaurants in Philadelphia, chefs Marcie Turney and Valerie Safran have done it again. Best described by The Posh Review as a place for "savory, urban dining," Barbuzzo offers creative Mediterranean-inspired dishes based on the flavors of Italy, Portugal, Spain, and France.
The restaurant itself is a welcoming space, not large, but encompasses a bar, wall shelf cubbies with glass jars full of colorful herbs and dried veggies, and outdoor seating in a comfortable 13th street setting. Tables for two are perfect for an intimate conversation -- complete with lit candles for a romantic ambiance.
Barbuzzo is a play on a Tuscan word for "full belly"
Barbuzzo's drink menu is intriguing, offering a variety of delicious and buzz worthy drinks. I opted for the Cucumber Margarita, [cucumber, tequila, and house margarita juice blend]. The juice was tangy, and came equipt with a raw cucumber slice on the glass -- a classy-looking drink with big taste. Barbuzzo's Little Italian Redhead also sounds delicious [vodka, aperol, housemade lemonade].
Choosing an appetizer at Barbuzzo was quite the challenge, as there are many mouth-watering options. Deciding to stay light and fresh, so we tried the Vegetable board, which offered us a selection of veggies straight from the farmer's market [note: this dish changes each day with different veggie selections]. Our dish was a mixture of delicious fingerling potatoes and garlic, roasted eggplant topped with carmelized onions and parmesan cheese over a spicy tomato paste, garlic-asparagus-parmesan bruschetta, and crispy snap peas served with crushed almonds on top.
For the main course we indulged in the Asparago Pizza, just one of the many delectable pizza options. The Asparago was a made with shaved Asparagus, Barbuzzo Pancetta, secret white sauce, Fior Di Latte, truffle, and a farm egg. It was NOT your ordinary pizza but certainly the flavor of desire if you're an egg lover (specifically poached eggs). It tasted just as delicious as it looks.
We didn't dig into dessert, though Barbuzzo's Salted Caramel Budino comes highly recommended. We've heard it's butterscotch pudding + chocolate crust + salted caramel -- what a satisfying dish for your sweet tooth!
The restaurant offers many beer/wine dinner pairing events -- another way to get familiar with the food and spirits. It's a great place to catch up with friends or simply try something new.
After a delicious night at this quaint kitchen and bar, I'd say the abundance of fresh ingredients and tasty cocktails left me with quite a 'Barbuzzo.'