Today the West Village loses the beloved California-Italian restaurant Barbuto, where since 2004 diners have filled the dining room year after year, returning for signature dishes like garlicky kale salad and roast chicken with salsa verde.
Chef Jonathan Waxman opened the restaurant at 775 Washington St. about 15 years ago, eventually achieving icon status among New York’s dining destinations. In 2015, Waxman announced that the restaurant would be forced to close its idyllic garage-style space equipped with roll-up window walls. The building is under new ownership, which no longer wants a restaurant in the space, the Times reported.
The restaurant is only open for lunch today and will shut its doors at 2 p.m.
Barbuto has garnered some serious fans — including food world celebs and industry leaders like Chrissy Teigen, Danny Meyer, and Dominique Ansel, many of whom have expressed their grief online.
“There are only a few restaurants that cross over from being the one time visit to a regular spot,” Ansel writes on Instagram. “I was a regular [at Barbuto] (often walking over after work in the West Village) — and whether you were or not, if you ever sat down, you’d still be served that same perfect roasted chicken and to-die-for carbonara.”
trying to replicate Barbuto's kale caesar with toasty breadcrumbs and pecorino for dinner tonight. will be one of my most missed dishes in the world once they leave nyc this week— christine teigen (@chrissyteigen) May 26, 2019
Just discovered the atrocious news that #Barbuto is closing because the new building owners don’t want a (legendary and life-changing) restaurant in that space! Who are these losers and what kind of highway robbery made them rich??Late-stage capitalism at its finest my friends.— Aaina Agarwal (@aainaagarwal_) May 14, 2019
Yet Barbuto’s final day of service may not be its last ever. Waxman says he’s searching for a new location to reopen before the end of the year, and earlier this month, a suspicious liquor license application from a company named “Barbuto West LLC” points to a possible new spot.
The application is for a new restaurant with a sidewalk cafe at 113 Horatio St., near Tenth Avenue, and the LLC is linked to an address (601 West 26th St., Suite 1245) that’s home to the New York headquarters of P.J. Clarke’s. As it turns out, PJ Clarke’s owner Philip Scotti and Waxman are partners in Barbuto’s current location. The duo also worked together on the new P.J. Clarke’s at the Curtis Center in Philadelphia.
A PJ Clarke’s spokesperson confirmed that the company is behind the liquor license application, but couldn’t comment on whether or not this is Barbuto’s revival.