Barbarini Reincarnation Barbalu Retains Its Italian Sandwich Game
The South Street Seaport businesses are slowly coming back to life, but there are still many that are closed for good or still under construction. Along Front St. are many eateries that have managed to reopen. Some got lucky because they are raised up off the street, while others like Barbarini Alimentari struggled. News came that the dual owners had parted ways, but one opted to reopen Barbarini as Barbalu. The menu is somewhat the same with reasonably-priced sandwiches and more expensive pastas. They had good food before and I had faith that the sandwiches would remain tasty. I was right.
The inside of Barbalu is a small, bright dining room, and the space next door that used to be the market and takeout area is being renovated. You won’t have trouble finding a seat at lunch, which I appreciated, and it’s easy to have a conversation. I took a look at the sandwich menu of which there is a nice selection of both meat and vegetarian options. I opted for the prosciutto di parma, parmesan and artichoke pesto variety and it came with a nicely-dressed little salad.
Beware if you’re wearing black pants to lunch as I did because the crusty, toasted ciabatta leaves your hands floury and sends shards flying when you take a bite. That being said, the bread was delicious and there was plenty of meat and thin slices of parmesan to be had. I couldn’t taste much of the artichoke pesto even though I could see it and in retrospect I should have put some of the side salad in the sandwich for a little flavor boost. I really appreciated the quality and quantity of ingredients, and it feels nice to see more lunch spots back in action at the seaport.
Barbalu, 225-227 Front St. (btw. Beekman St. & Peck Slip), (646) 918-6565