By Samantha Hew, Founder of Hewmour Catering
Taking bite out of the Big Apple is like taking a tasting trip around the world. At every meal you can dash off to a new country and dip your fork and spoon into the local cuisine without the international jet lag. People from all corners of the globe have opened restaurants here, and Manhattan’s hungry masses, urban gourmands, and food critics have welcomed their diverse dishes and asked for seconds. My food journey may lead me to Chinatown for Malaysian, to East 6th Street for Indian, to Harlem for Soul Food, or to Little Italy and Koreatown. This week’s pick is a trip down to Alphabet City.
“The service starts as you enter the door and ends as I greet you good night at the door”, said Albert Ibrahimi, owner and chef of Barbone. In Italian, “Barbone” means “bum” or “homeless man”, an ironic name that belies the rich Italian-inspired menu and a superb wine list.
Dining at Barbone has been on my to do list for a while. The subtle decor of dark wood floor and exposed brick wall give a hint of the rustic elegance which I adore. The patio in the back is lovely in a very unassuming way. The food is outstanding, the atmosphere is cozy, and the service is beyond attentive. It’s the rare kind of place that works well both for a romantic evening and dinner with your friends and family.
The three hours seductive meal begins now:
A basket of fresh Italian bread was served the second I sat down. Something I always looked for when reviewing a restaurant. Barbone staff has not disappointed me yet. As I was zipping away my glass of prosecco and listening to my waitress about today’s specials; I saw Albert greeting the customers as they entered the door, ten seconds later he was at another table recommending different choices of wine (rare grapes that you’ve never heard of). With Albert’s hospitality, I myself had a great bottle of red – mmmm – mesmerizing. All the laughter coming from different tables I knew I will have a great time here at Barbone and so I did.
Last but not least, I can’t tell you my favorite out of the below I had; every single dish stands out on its own. Your mission: Try them all. If you didn’t like any of the dishes for any reason (which is impossible), send the bill to me.
Asparagus fries light wine batter with pancetta aioli
Seared chicken liver, brown butter, sage, grilled polenta
Black Pepper papardelle braised short rib ragu
Chestnut agnolotti brown butter with fennel pollen
Red Beet Gnocchi
Stuffed fresh crab meat ravioli in saffron butter sauce with leeks
Swiss chard &ricotta malfatti, sage butter pecorino
Grilled Sea Scallops, celery root puree, fennel, cherry tomatoes
Braised Lamb Shank
Canadian Wild Board lasagna
Mascarpone Cheesecake top with pistachio
Panacotta with berries sauce
Link Love: Barbone
The Women’s Mafia TALENT Profile of Samantha Hew