Valentine’s Day is a special day to celebrate love.

If you made it past that first sentence it most likely means there is someone special in your life. We’re very happy for you, but it’s time to get serious. Date night on Valentine’s Day can bring a lot of pressure because the expectations are high and the demand for a romantic spot is even higher. The worst thing you can do is to not plan ahead, which is why we are here to help. There are a ton of fantastic options in downtown Manhattan ranging from romantic upscale restaurants to the ultimate date night movie theater. We have selected a few of our favorite destinations.

* Pricing is for 2 People

Barbalu – $35 – $60 – 225 Front Street, FiDi

Barbalu is the marriage of husband and wife team Stefano Barbagallo and Adriana Luque. Their authentic Italian restaurant by the South Street Seaport is a quaint spot perfect for a tasty romantic date. This little gem was rebuilt after Barbarini closed following superstorm Sandy. Thankfully, all the charm was preserved. Make sure to order their delicious home made fettucini with Beef Ragu or their Spaghetti allo Scoglio and to finish with the tiramisu.




The 10 Best Restaurants In South Street Seaport, Manhattan - The Culture Trip

By Alexis DeFillipo

Updated: 3 November 2016

The South Street Seaport is one of the most scenic and historic areas Manhattan has to offer. Where Fulton Street meets the East River, there are many places to go and have a meal for a good price. Whether you are looking for something fast or a sit-down meal, this place has it all. Here is our round up of this neighborhood’s top 10 restaurants.

Barbalu Restaurant

After having their first restaurant, Barbarini Alimentari, completely destroyed by Super Storm Sandy, power couple Stefano Barbagallo and Adriana Luque pulled together and re-built Barbalu where their old one once stood. With bright string lights lining the ceiling and bar and table seating, this business aims to please by serving delicious food that looks great as well. With almost all meals priced lower than $20, Barbalu is a great place for a fine meal to enjoy with friends and family.

Barbalu Restaurant, 225-227 Front Street, New York, NY, USA +1 646 918 6565

Click the title to read the article:

The Lower Manhattan Guide, by

The Lower Manhattan Guide

While Lower Manhattan used to be somewhat of a ghost town on the weekends—and a sea of bankers during the week—a lot of businesses have been moving south, and with them, a slew of new shops and restaurants. Here are our favorite spots below Canal Street.


225-227 Front St., South Street Seaport | 646.918.6565

Hurricane Sandy was devastating for the Seaport; Barbarini, an adorable little Italian spot on Front Street was completely destroyed. But its owner, husband and wife Stefano Barbagallo and Adriana Luque opted to rebuild. Barbalu is just as sweet and delicious as its predecessor, offering everything from simple plates of pasta to potato-crusted salmon.




The Identity Shift Project Gallery

Photographer: Julie Hassett Sutton

Interviewer: Jessica Safran

This Gallery is the collection of moments from our participants’ Identity Shifts. They generously opened their worlds to us, and together we explored them.

Stefano: I was in Italy when Hurricane Sandy happened. I was stunned for the evening, I had to digest that my restaurant was completely destroyed. But I’ve had 10-12 different businesses. I’m used to moving on. I’m not the type of person to get stuck and put down roots and not think about change.

Adriana: Hurricane Sandy made me more aware of those I love. I met an amazing community of people – who came with masks and gloves, with food and drinks – for everybody. I don’t have these peoples’ names. I wish I could thank them.

All of our employees lost their jobs. There were originally 25 people. Several people will work with us again. The chef is coming back.

Stefano: We’re rebuilding in the same space after 7 years and have a better idea how to solve design problems. I like Front Street: the landmark street made with cobblestone, that’s near the water, on a block where there are no cars. It’s historic and has a lot of character.

Adriana: My family has been there through everything. My parents told us growing up: Material stuff comes and goes. You are a person; you are here today and not tomorrow. If we are alive, then we’re okay. Perhaps we’re upset for awhile, but then we’re okay.

For more information about the restaurant, visit


Barbalu, a New Italian Restaurant in the Old Barbarini Alimentari Space, Now Open

by Marguerite Preston (Originally posted on Oct 14, 2013, 12:00p) @marguerite_s_p

Status: Open
Almost a year after Hurricane Sandy destroyed Barbarini Alimentari, a new Italian restaurant, Barbalu, has opened in its place. The owners, husband-and-wife team Stefano Barbagallo and Adriana Luque, were half of the team behind Barbarini, and held onto the place.

Barbalu @ 225 Front St. NYC

Barbalu @ 225 Front St. NYC

The restaurant will eventually seat 120, but for now just a small 30-seat section is open. The classic Italian menu has salads, sandwiches, pastas, and a few meat entrees like veal scaloppine and oven roasted monkfish. It's open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, from 10 a.m. until 10:30 p.m. every day. 
Previous Coverage: Post-Sandy NYC, 12/17; Post-Sandy NYC, 12/18; Triumphant Returns, 5/24; Bouncing Back, 10/7
Further Reading: Time Out
[Photo: Facebook]

AM New York: EAT AND DRINK Where to dine at South Street Seaport

By TRACY E. HOPKINS/ Special to amNewYork (originally posted on August 4, 2015)

If you haven't been to the South Street Seaport lately, the lazy days of summer are the perfect time for a stroll along the cobblestone streets and brunch with a view of the East River. The historic waterfront area where Fulton Street meets the East River has a bevy of new restaurants and dining destinations. Here's where to get eating: 

After Barbarini Alimentari was destroyed by Superstorm Sandy in 2012, owner Stefano Barbagallo rebuilt and reopened the space as Barbalu with his wife and partner Adriana Luque the following year. The resilient restaurateur says business is better than before. "I'm extremely proud of maintaining a presence in this beautiful area of New York," Barbagallo says. The minimalist, modern restaurant offers a menu of thoughtfully-prepared Italian fare, including sandwiches, salads, pastas and desserts. 225-227 Front St.,



For our 2nd Anniversary, we remember this article: A Year After Sandy, Lower Manhattan Has Slowly Made a Comeback

By Irene Plagianos | October 29, 2013 9:04am

LOWER MANHATTAN — On a bright afternoon recently, standing in the middle of her bustling South Street Seaport restaurant, Adriana Luque let out a deep sigh. 

"It feels so good to be back," said Luque, a wide smile spreading across her face. "So good."

A year after 11 feet of Hurricane Sandy’s murky floodwaters overwhelmed popular Seaport eatery Barbarini, Luque and her husband Stefano Barbagallo — former co-owners of the beloved Italian spot — have finally opened their new restaurant, Barbalu, in the same 225 Front St. space.

"This year was hard, it was a struggle for us — for so many people,” Luque said. “But we love this place — we’re coming back and this neighborhood is coming back.”

Twelve months after Hurricane Sandy tore through Lower Manhattan, a host of shops and restaurants are still shuttered in the hard-hit South Street Seaport, but most of Downtown has slowly come back to life.

Most of the 19th-century buildings along the picturesque street, where Barbalu is now up and running, suffered intense damage. The entire electrical, heating and cooling systems of many of the buildings needed to be replaced, leaving residential tenants, along with the ground-floor shops and restaurants, displaced until the summer.

But the tide has turned. Barbalu, sushi restaurant Suteishi and pet grooming spa The Salty Paw recently reopened, and others — including Nelson Blue, Jack’s Stir Brew Coffee and bar Keg No. 229 — are slated to reopen in the next coming weeks.

The business owners who returned have sunk hundreds of thousands of dollars into repairing their shops — many without the benefit of flood insurance and while still wrangling for hurricane-related grants and loans from the government. 

“It’s certainly cost us," said Peter O’Connell, who poured nearly $1 million into reopening Seaport favorite the Paris Cafe earlier this month, "but I think the Paris looks better than ever."

From Time Out New York

Barbalu (Restaurants)
"This venue is expected to open fall 2013. 
The former Barbarini space—destroyed by Hurricane Sandy—will get a new look and name from husband-and-wife team Stefano Barbagallo and Adriana Luque. The duo—half the team behind the original Italian joint—will shrink the retail area, but much of the Italian menu (cold-cut plates, spaghetti with sausage ragù) will be recognizable to regulars. Drinkers in the nabe will also have reason to cheer, as the refab brings a larger bar area with more small plates available for munching. 225–227 Front St between Peck Slip and Beekman St (646-918-6565, Early September.