Saturday, August 11, 2012

The Roast Chicken at Barbuto & Takashi Dessert

Friday night, Mr. FoodandPants and I braved the West Village streets to dine at Barbuto and cast judgment on their much renowned and touted roast chicken.  

Judgment #1: Barbuto is mighty cute.  Open, airy, and family friendly !  Bring your kids here to eat $8 corn on the cob !

Judgment #2: The knives for chicken slaughtering are also cute - dubbed the 'Gaucho.'  I like that.

Judgment #3: The complimentary olives on the table were pretty, but I still do not like olives.  Mr. FoodandPants ate three, despite saying he also did not like olives.  It goes to show, he might just say anything for the purpose of conversation. (Just kidding. Maybe.)

Judgment #4: You get a whole lot of chicken for this $19 pollo al forno plate.  About a full half chicken - one breast (split in two), a thigh and a leg that is simply roasted with olive oil and lemon.

Judgment #5: This is a good looking roast chicken, topped with a fresh salsa verde and plenty of pan juices for the dipping.

Judgment #6: The chicken is sufficiently moist but not exceptionally succulent.  The flesh is fairly tender and fine.

Judgment #7: The skin is most excellent.  Mostly crisp with plenty of seasoning from crushed black pepper and salt.

Mr. FoodandPants casting judgment below.

The waitress alerted us to the fact that the chicken arrives naked and in its lonesome, without a side on...well, its side.  Of the three side options (i.e., corn on the cob, sauteed greens and potatoes), the potatoes seemed the best bet.

Judgment #8: The potatoes are magical.  Basically a whole potato smashed into rustic, crude chunks and fried to perfect greaseless, crunchy oblivion.  The only salt comes from a soft dusting of pecorino, and it's a delicious duo.

Confession: I ate most of this plate while Mr. FoodandPants focused on the chicken.  Sorry, pal, you snooze, you lose!

After, we stopped into Takashi, a really adorable and popular Japanese barbecue spot for a takeout dessert of their signature soft-serve ice cream.  The restaurant was actually being filmed for a German television programme when we arrived.

The soft-serve comes with choice of toppings: rice dumplings, azuki red beans, black / soybean sesame powder and choice of syrups: green tea, brown tea (hoji), salted caramel and goji berry.  I opted for the green tea.  We were then directed to beg a spoon off the deli next door in order to eat our rapidly melting mess.

Judgment #9: The melting mess was quite good.  Each bite was unique, depending on what topping you spoon, but my favorite bites involved the plump rice dumplings that reminded me of my mom's Vietnamese dessert.  Such fun, chewy little buggers!

And that concludes one solid and charming West Village Friday night, especially with all the public street confrontations between couples and friends we witnessed on our dessert stroll.  I thrive on the embarrassment of others !

775 Washington St
New York, NY
Barbuto on Urbanspoon

456 Hudson St
New York, NY
Takashi on Urbanspoon


  1. Seems like a good family spot. Dining out with the kids is certainly a great way to spend some quality time with them. Such a mouth-watering roasted chicken btw!

  2. the melting mess is melting my heart!! yum.

  3. If you leave the raw chicken uncovered in the refrigerator overnight the skin will get nice and dry and result in extra crisp skin after roasting.