The Busalacchi family, including patriarch Joe Busalacchi, nephew and executive chef Nino Zizzo and son and general manager PJ Busalacchi, could be officially opening their latest restaurant in Little Italy as soon as this weekend.
A transformation of their old school Po Pazzo, the new Barbusa is a modern homage to the family's Sicilian heritage; inspired by Southern Italian specialties, the menu includes arancini, sea urchin and shrimp pasta, and tripe with classic, spicy puttanesca sauce. Seafood is well-represented, particularly at the six-seat crudo bar which will offer everything from fish carpaccio to oysters. And the pasta is all housemade, rolled out in the open kitchen in front of seven-seat chef's table that will host monthly tasting dinners. There's also a wood-fired pizza oven, baking up whole pies and little sardine-topped Sicilian pizzas that the restaurant is serving in lieu of bread.
The new layout includes a contemporary dining room, decorated with a revolving pop art gallery of famous Italians — among the first group are Sophia Loren and Luciano Pavorotti — plus a marble bar where Italian wines and craft beer are being poured; bar manager Wendy McGlinnen's craft cocktail program centers around fresh pressed juices and Italian spirits. There's also an indoor/outdoor patio with living green walls, which will be the stage for weekly live music and DJ sets. For now, Barbusa is doing dinner only, but lunch and weekend brunch will arrive soon.