It’s that time again. Center City Restaurant Week is nearly upon us, and in order to help you, the loyal Foobooz readers, to get the most bang for your buck, we’ve combed through all the menus being offered by the 100-plus restaurants participating this year and come up with a few ideal meals for you to consider. And today, we’re starting off with…
Barbuzzo: It Gets Better
Tables at Barbuzzo aren’t exactly easy gets during a normal week. And during Restaurant Week, things are going to be even tighter. But if you do manage to score some real estate while the special menu is in effect, there’s something you need to consider. While things here might appear to start off slow in the early courses, no one knows how to finish strong the way Barbuzzo does. So let’s take a look at the best approach to their Restaurant Week menu.
Restaurant Week 2013: Barbuzzo
- Just a taste: Barbuzzo is actually slinging four courses rather than the traditional three, with a special “From the chef” amuse starting things off. This is a small, simple course–two varieties of crostini–and you’d be best served to go with the white bean and roasted garlic with roasted peppers, basil and balsamic. Mostly because the other version comes with romanesco and, seriously? Romanesco is one of those vegetables that’s almost always better in theory than in practice.
- First course: Sheep’s milk ricotta, roasted beet salad, buffalo mozzarella from Campagna or grilled head-on shrimp with warm bean salad and salsa verde. The shrimp seem like the obvious play, right? Wrong. Go with the mozzarella with roasted butternut squash, date-walnut pesto and arugula because it’s one of the kitchen’s strong suits and because it sets up the next course so perfectly.
- Second course: There’s chicken breast stuffed with fontina, grilled swordfish, seared gnocchi with garlic, local greens and maitake mushrooms, strascinati pasta with wild boar sausage and “Sunday supper sauce”… It reads more like a full Friday night board than some diminutive Restaurant Week menu. But the best choice here is the Capricciosa pizza with San Marzano tomatoes, fior di latte, basil, proscuitto cotto, hot coppa, artichokes and Castelvetrano olives. Yes, it’ll be a small-ish pizza, but it will also be an awesome pizza. And remember, you still have one course to go.
- Third course: This is dessert, and Barbuzzo isn’t being coy at all. They bring out their biggest, best gun here, offering the (by now legendary) salted caramel budino with dark chocolate crust, vanilla bean caramel and sea salt. Everything else looks good (in particular the spiced pumpkin-pecan pie with bourbon-chestnut gelato), but you’d be a fool to skip the budino–unless of course you’ve had it a dozen times before like some of you out there have.
Center City Restaurant Week [Center City Philadelphia]