This is part of a series of posts related to Chef Marcie Turney including: Verde, Lolita, the Midtown Village Festival, Jamonera, Little Nonna's, Barbuzzo, and Barbuzzo .
It's no secret that the GF and I love Barbuzzo. Other than the tight seating, there really are no qualms or quibbles about Chef Marcie Turney's mainstay Mediterranean restaurant.
So when a friend of ours was leaving Philly for Colorado and I heard she had never been to Barbuzzo, I knew we had to stop in for a final lunch.
Shaved Apple & Brussels Sprout Salad [$8]
Red quinoa, toasted hazelnuts, pecorino-lemon dressing
We started off with a shaved apple and brussels sprout salad. I'm not the type for roughage or rabbit food, but being with two ladies, I had to oblige. This was surprisingly hearty, with the bite of the red onion and the acidity of the lemon dressing helping to brighten up each bite. The pecorino added some salt, with the toasted hazelnut bringing about some texture.
Speck, marinated peppers, pumpkin seeds, pangrattato, warm prosciutto vinaigrette
One of our favorite dishes was the burrata and broccolini. The bitterness from the greens complemented the savory saltiness of the speck, and creaminess of the rich burrata could not be denied. The pepitas and bread crumb "pangrattato" offered texture, while the marinated peppers provided an additional level of acidity that was nice.
Plum jam, marcona almonds, pear aigre doux, crostini
Goose liver was actually on feature here rather than chicken liver and I appreciated the surprisingly clean flavors and smooth texture. Along with the plum jam, the agro dolce pears were expectedly sweet and sour, providing an appropriate balance to each bite. Marcona almonds provided some additional texture, along with some richness. Plenty of toasted crostini were provided to scoop up all of the deliciousness.
Barbuzzo Burger [$12]
Big Joe's secret spice rub, house pickle, french feta, red onion, gem lettuce, smoked garlic aioli, brioche bun
The ladies both enjoyed the burger, which was moist, juicy, and seasoned well. The french feta added some enjoyable funk, while the house pickle providing some sweet crunch to each bite. The accompanying rosemary fries were on point - crisp, tender, and served with an addictive garlic aioli.
Braised pork belly, gorgonzola, roasted pears, grainy mustard aioli, baby gem lettuce, foccacia
Obviously I went with the roast turkey sandwich. Not so much for the roast turkey, but for the advertised braised pork belly. The braised pork belly was actually just a smoky and crispy bacon. It was served between two slices of deliciously greasy focaccia, with the roasted pears providing a countervailing element to the meat. The turkey itself was juicy and moist, but braised pork belly this was not.
Salted Caramel Budino [$8]
Dark chocolate crust, vanilla bean caramel, sea salt
Obviously, we had to introduce our friend to the budino. What else can I say that I haven't already said - it's a favorite, with great coffee-caramel notes and a perfect interplay between salty and sweet.
Bourbon glaze, caramel, cinnamon gelato
We also decided to enjoy the other dessert on offer, which was initially advertised as a apple and raisin bread pudding, but changed to chocolate and almond. The texture of the almond was much needed, because the rich creaminess of the bread pudding was at the forefront. This was an ooey, gooey mess of caramel and chocolate, with the cinnamon gelato providing a cool contrast to the warm bread pudding.
There were a few inconsistencies with what was advertised on the menu during this particular Barbuzzo lunch service. Regardless, what was offered was undeniably delicious. And for that, I forgive thee and ye shall remain a favorite of ours.