Barbuzzo – Tantalizing Tapas in Philly

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[Editor’s Note: Due to the large amount of hardcore food porn in this post, I debated tagging it as NSFW. Just be forewarned that your co-workers may mistake innocent blog browsing for inappropriate behavior if they see this on your computer screen. Please enjoy and maybe even salivate a little at the glory shots of delicious cuisine throughout this post.]

Barbuzzo on Urbanspoon

Small plates restaurants seem to be the new craze in progressive urban dining. But the “small plates” that I had at Barbuzzo, a wildly popular Tapas spot on trendy 13th street in Philly, were on point. No other way to describe it. Just absolutely damn delicious. The dishes are creative and unique, with flavors that mix together effortlessly and leave your palette craving for more. The atmosphere of the place is absolutely perfect for a date – it’s a intimate, narrow venue comprised of the bar/kitchen on the left and tables along the exposed brick wall on the right. I guess it’s also a suitable mandate location – as when I was here it was with one my buddys after leaving the Sporting Club. Bros can appreciate ambiance too, you know. The menu is full with light and savory options that you can’t really go wrong with. Here’s the culinary journey that we took:

Portugese Wine Flights

To be totally honest, my impetus behind choosing the wine flights was strictly to get more bang for my buck. This was a very wise decision, as both of these wines were outstanding. The red was robust and flavorful without a harness or acidity, and the white very refreshing while not too sweet. Having both wine varieties later proved to pair perfectly with our food selections…

CHICKEN LIVER AND FOIE GRAS MOUSSE

Now I understand that foie gras is not for everyone. There tends to be an either you love it or you hate it opinion for most people regarding. I find that if you don’t dwell on what it’s actually made of or it’s somewhat eery texture, it’s much more enjoyable. The spiced apple marmalade was a good contrast to the salty spread. I was a fan.

GRILLED FIGS AND WATERMELON

At first glance you’d think the red substance at the bottom is a really rare filet or some ahi tuna. Nope. It’s watermelon. And it’s fucking awesome. The combination of flavors here is brilliant. Sweet watermelon and figs, salty prosciutto, and the sharp taste of Valdeón (a spanish blue cheese) blend together to create an orgy in your mouth. It feels so wrong but tastes so right.

GRILLED HOUSE SMOKED SHRIMP

This proved to be the perfect pairing with the white Portuguese wine ordered earlier. The shrimp is sitting above a mushroom poleta and covered with french feta. Bomb. This was no exception as the other dishes – very tasty. It also served as a perfect contrast to our next plate…

CACIOCAVALLO STUFFED MEATBALLS

Stuffed meatballs are a beautiful thing, and are a solid choice in Tapas dining. They are hearty and bring a good dose of protein and general awesomeness to the meal. These bad boys are house ground and taste amazing.

Bottom line is this place is solid – both for the atmosphere and the food (whichever one you may be seeking at the time). Although it’s not cheap, you get what you pay for – deliciousness.