by Brian Hoffman
Every week, I document another dish that impressed and satiated me during my food adventures around New York City.
The neighborhood of the South Street Seaport was completely ravaged by Hurricane Sandy. All the thriving small businesses along Front Street took in around seven feet of brackish water. It was a devastating situation and only now (a year and half later) does the neighborhood look like it’s finally back on its feet.
One of the restaurants destroyed by the storm was Barbarini, a neighborhood gem that was both an Italian trattoria and grocery. Unfortunately, due to the extensive damage, the owners parted ways and Barbarini is no more. However, two of the owners (Stefano Barbagallo and Adriana Luque) have opened a new (but similar) establishment in the old space.
It’s called Barbalu and it feels bigger and more modern than its predecessor. And I think the rustic Italian food might be even better.
We loved the homey lasagna, the balsamic-lade kale salad, and the perfect tiramisu. But the most surprising dish was one I almost didn’t order: the bresaola sandwich.
This simple little sandwich was a shocker. Trapped between tender crusty bread, the salty slices of beef came alive next to the tangy sweetness of lemon-infused goat cheese, bracing arugula, and intoxicating truffle oil. I can’t remember the last time I had a sandwich that so neatly walked the line between delicate lightness and rich boldness.
And the prices at Barbalu (the hefty sandwich was just $9) are set for repeat visits and affordable neighborhood meals. Let’s make this a restaurant destination that turns Sandy into a very distant memory.