The doyennes of Midtown Village - chef Marcie Turney and partner Valerie Safran - have added to their mini-empire in a big way, with a wood-fired Mediterranean wine bar that radiates rare energy and vibrant seasonal dishes. From the urban farmhouse look to the top-notch pizzas, smart service, affordable wine list, and, especially, Turney's spirited return to Med flavors, Barbuzzo's affordable small plates capture the casual sophistication of the day. Main drawbacks? The cramped seating and formidable din of an "it" restaurant already in high gear.
"Pig popcorn"; sheep's milk ricotta; roasted marrow bones; vegetable board; goat cheese board; antipasti plate (lunch); squash and parsnip salad; roasted brussels sprouts; pizza (lardo; osso; capricciosa; salsiccia); paccheri with Sunday sauce; strozzapreti with hen of the woods; squid-ink tonnarelli with seafood; caciocavallo-stuffed meatballs; pork chop; branzino; fiduea; grilled octopus; salted caramel budino; blood-orange tiramisu; torrone-honey gelato.
A well-chosen Euro list of 40 bottles with fair markups (almost entirely sub-$50) and a dozen by-the-glass options focused on small-production, food-friendly wines, from a soft Ricossa Barbera D'asti ($7/$36) to a ripe Tinto Roriz ($9/$38) and a crisp white Casamaro Verdejo ($8/$34). There is also a small but smart reserve selection (Vina Tondonia Reserva), a substantial craft beer list, and probably the city's largest collection of after-dinner Madeira and fortified wine.
A boisterous 92 decibels is one of Barbuzzo's weak points. (Ideal is 75 decibels or less.)
Lunch Monday through Friday, noon to 3 p.m.; Dinner nightly, 5 p.m. to midnight.