Saturday night Slip and I bundled up and headed out for a night on the town. He was a wonderful boyfriend because he took me to the Nutcracker! I used to love going to see this show as a kid and took ballet for 7 years— I love the costumes, the makeup, and of course the major Christmas vibe. The show wasn’t as dazzling as I remembered- the first act is actually pretty slow. But the second act (in the land of Sugarplums!) was wonderful, and the Academy of Music is beautiful, full of glitz and glimmer. We sat up high, and these were some of the highlights in our view:
Amazing chandelier that lifted up at the beginning of the performance.
A view right into the orchestra pit.
Beautiful, ornate architectural detailing in every corner.
After the ballet we were hungry and decided to walk down to one of my new favorite places in the 13th street corridor, Barbuzzo. Similar to my experience at Audrey Claire with Carys a few weeks ago, we got seated at the bar practically in the kitchen, with amazing views of every thing going on from sous chef to wood oven pizza to the finishing caramel touches on the most popular desserts.
The first thing we kept seeing come out of the kitchen was the “pig popcorn”- tossed in apple cider vinegar powder and served with horseradish aioli. Not something I would typically order but I had just watched Iron Chef: Battle Pork Fat, and it was obviously really popular and fresh, so I couldn’t resist.
I paired this with sangria rojo and Slip had a Anchor Steam Christmas Ale.
Barbuzzo has great cheese and meat plates, so next we shared the buratta from puglia, served with red bartlett pear, arugula, eevo, saba, and candied walnuts.
Buratta cheese is firm on the outside and creamy on the inside, kind of like a ball of mozarella filled with ricotta. To me the best part of the dish was that the salt came from the pears, perfectly seasoned with salt and pepper, and the sweet and crunch from the walnuts. The dish was fresh and crisp, a perfect follow-up to the pork rinds and refresher right before our next course:
The “Uovo” pizza-brussel leaves, guanicale (thick Italian bacon), caciocavallo, flor di latte, truffle and a farm egg. The creaminess of the egg added something that cheese just cannot. The truffle was visible and added a gourmet and hearty flavor. The pizza dough was sweet and thin, and the cheese was salty and delicious. Moreover, the taste of the pizza was perfection, but it was clean and it didn’t linger at all. I loved it! The pizza additions were served whimsically, in tiny little jars:
I loved how aromatic the oregano became as we crushed it over the pizza. The spicy oil was not too spicy but a subtle addition to the flavor combination.
While we were sitting with a perfect view we also saw 2 desserts coming out of the kitchen, over and over and over again. We decided, why not, it’s date night, let’s get them both! So we did. We had the warm apple bread pudding as one of our treats:
I love bread pudding and usually can never turn it down, so this was definitely a delicious treat. Plus, anything with melting cold ice cream over hot caramel is a plus. While this was definitely a solid dessert, it didn’t blow my mind. Especially after eating this—
A salted caramel budino. I had never really heard of this dessert before, but after we saw it ordered at least a dozen times during our dinner, in addition to the description (“salted caramel budino: with dark chocolate cookie crust, vanilla bean caramel and sea salt”), as well as the sous chef explaining that it’s their most popular item, we had to have it.
Well, this budino WAS out of this world. I wish I could perfectly capture in words how amazing this dessert was, but I’m afraid I can’t do it justice. The pudding was smooth and custard-like, the caramel had an amazing sea salt flavor (and can I mention, I’m loving the sea salt trend in desserts), the whipped cream on top was rich and smooth, cutting the salt flavor, and the crust added a crunch.
Well, if that sounded at all good to you, you should go to Barbuzzo yourself, or better yet, order a 6-pack of Budinos to take to your holiday party!
Saturday was definitely a fun night and though I think I am Nutcracker-sated for a few years now, I cannot wait for my next trip to Barbuzzo!