Whether this becomes regular or not, we’ll see, but restaurants to us NY-ers, is a critical thing, and must be addressed. Maybe if I become (whisper, clap hands with glee) regularly visited – I’ll move it to the side where most serious bloggers have side discussions. But….
He (a Formal Noun, not a pronoun, for now until I have formulated the best nickname ever) is obsessed with Chowhound. You know, the true foodie website. Obsessed. Ridiculous. Granted, I can’t complain. When we arrive at a restaurant, he knows what we should order, what is the best thing ever, what is terrible. One of the things I love most about him is his obsession with trying new restaurants. And we (or He) always come prepared. Specifically, with a little post-it note that he hides in his pocket. Pulling out only when the coast is clear.
Tonight he knew the maitre d's name. Knew which wine we should order (which they had none of, but knowing wine to order is above and beyond the normal situation).
We went to Enoteca Barbone. Avenue B between 11th and 12th.
We went because it was new, it was Italian, was in the east village (ev and Italian is a good mix) and icing on the cake; this is the new restaurant of John Baron, the former pasta maker/chef/guru at Babbo. We love Babbo. Adore it. So of course we were going to try this place – plus it got rave reviews on Chowhound, which truly doesn’t let us down.
Barbone was okay. I am actually easy to please and this was just okay. The service great. The food and wine, okay. I’ll make it quick.
I got the watermelon, ricotta and caper salad. The watermelon could have been way fresher and the whole thing was really forgettable. For my entrée I got the ricotta, peas and mint gnochi. I usually steer away from gnochi but this was way promoted on said websites. It actually was really good, but spectacular? Eh. He got the asparagus for a starter- also touted as the best thing ever. Was fine. And got the Pappardelle with braised short rib ragu. Found it mediocre.
Net net- this is absolutely no Babbo. Not even Gnocco (which we love and only gets better) – maybe Bianca, which we want desperately to be fantastic but really never is.
Anyway – bill was like $75, the garden was great, the wine sucked (I hate Chardonnay and will never submit to the rationale of ‘it’s not woody California Chardonay’ ever again), the food was good, but no Babbo.