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Barbuto and new Bouley Market report(longish)

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Barbuto and new Bouley Market report(longish)

fresser | May 25, 2005 09:43 AM

This weekend, we went to Barbuto for the first time. I liked the venue, those garage doors are fun when the weather is nice and they kinda help dissapate the noise. Boy, it was loud! I was disappointed that they didn't have any pizzas on the menu that night, but there were other tasty entrees from the wood-fired oven. To start, we split the fava bean and pasta dish, this was a little too creamy for my taste, but i'm not a fan of creamy pasta dishes, however my companion really wanted it. The fava beans were perfectly cooked and had a great texture, good bite to them. The other starter was the grilled calamari--can't remember the other ingredients, sorry!, lots of tentacle pieces, which i love. These were cooked nicely, not chewy, not greasy.

My only complaint, and this is consistent for the entire meal, was the saltiness...food tasted good going down, so it wasn't overly salted in a burning way, however, about 30min after the meal i was endlessly thirsty! as was my companion, neither of us could sleep!

For mains, i had the scallops, four large ones, perfect portion size. they were grilled in the oven and had a lovely crunchy outside but tender inside. My friend had the lamb, which also had a crunchy yummy crust and soft inside. I think they do a great job with meat and fish. but then again, you could actually see little pieces of salt on the lamb, ouch.

We each had a glass of a serviceable white, nothing special at all. For dessert, we just had the biscotti which were just the right note of sweetness to balance the palate. I'd go back again, but not in a big rush. Which isn't to say i didn't enjoy the meal, but it wasn't spectacular either, just a fun place with tasty food.

Bouley Market--the pastries and breads looked gorgeous, but we just bought a quarter of the bread, i think the name is something like Maine, or Maire, can't remember but it's the biggest loaf there and they sell either whole, half, or quarter. Anyway, this bread is fabulous. I used to think the only truly great chewy and crusty bread could be found in small markets in France, then I had the bread from Berkshire Mountain Bakery and realized, duh, great bread is made in the US too. Sure, Eli's sour-rye is pretty darned good, but Bouley's bread blew it out of the water. This loaf was sour, had a fantastic crunchy crust, and an incredible moist and chewy inside. I will be back there again and again! I'm excited to try the prepared foods as well, but this bread, WOW!

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