Barbuzzo (Philadelphia, PA)
110 S 13th St
Philadelphia, PA 19107
Dining date: 6/21/17
Barbuzzo is one of the more popular restaurants in Philadelphia. It’s part of a restaurant group that operates a number of other restaurants in the neighborhood, even a chocolate shop and jewelry store. Barbuzzo serves Mediterranean cuisine with a concentration towards Italian, including pastas, pizzas, housemade charcuterie and a variety of both small and large plates. We stopped in for dinner on a busy Wednesday evening – the small restaurant was packed when we got there and packed when we left.
SEARED SNAP PEAS rustic soffrito, roasted garlic, smoked ricotta salata
GRILLED MEDITERRANEAN OCTOPUS cantimpalo chorizo, fingerlings, taggiasca olive, roasted peppers, white bean puree, herbs & lemon
PORTUGUESE MUSSELS smoked portugese sausage, white beans, corn, garlic, calabrian chile butter, cilantro, spring onion
CAMPANELLE NERI maryland crab, broccoli rabe, lemon, calabrian chile butter, oregano bread crumbs
PAN SEARED GNOCCHI trumpet mushrooms, pancetta, red chard, peas, truffle butter
SALTED CARAMEL BUDINO with dark chocolate crust, vanilla bean caramel and sea salt
Favorites on this evening were the octopus and gnocchi, although all of the dishes were done pretty well. Octopus was tender with a nice smoky char, complemented by a creamy white bean puree and discs of fingerlings, chorizo and olives. Gnocchi was pillowy soft, served with earthy mushrooms and greens with a little bit of pancetta. The budino is their signature dessert and it delivered a very rich and satisfying caramel custard. I really liked the dark cookie crust which provided a lot of textural contrast. Maybe I’m just too used to Los Angeles but I thought the prices were very reasonable here too, with many of the small plates around $10 and pastas/pizzas/large plates priced in the teens.
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