Encouraging first reports on Barbone, a month-old Italian restaurant and wine bar in the East Village: Chef John Baron, an alumnus of Babbo and Lupa, shows a sure hand with pastas, like uncommonly light carbonara, seafood tagliatelle in tangy tomato sauce, and chicken liver ravioli in balsamic-brown butter sauce. Appealing seasonal dishes include lightly breaded asparagus fries with tangy pancetta aioli and a refreshing, sweet/tart watermelon salad with red onions, caper berries, and toasted ricotta.
Even in a neighborhood chockablock with Italian restaurants, Barbone should hold its own, suggests jonasblank, who says it stacks up well against Max, Supper, and Il Bagatto, to name a few. Prices are gentle–starters under $10, pastas around $10 to $15, entrees mostly in the teens–and the all-Italian wine list includes several bottles under $30 and many under $40. Service is friendly and attentive, the interior dark, intimate and refined, and the back garden area large and inviting.