Chef Jonathan Waxman, Barbuto, New York, NY, Washington Street, New York City, Italian, Top Chef Masters, California Cuisine, Rosa Mexicano, Where to eat, Where to Drink, New York, Brooklyn, France, Miami, Florida, FL, Venice, Italy, France, Paris, Hotel Bars, Where to shop, Farmers Markets, Best Markets Around The World, Chef’s Recs, Insider Recommendations, Restaurants, Bars, Cocktails, Shops, Food Stores, Grocery Stores, Obi Wan Kenobi


Photographs courtesy of Jonathan Waxman and Find. Eat. Drink.

Q & A

West Village - New York, NY

Q & A with Chef Jonathan Waxman

Q. For people who have never been to Barbuto, can we get a brief description:

A. Barbuto is located in the corner of an old garage, built to sell Rolls Royce automobiles in 1939. We have about 2000 square feet, which makes for a smallish restaurant. The old garage doors were replaced a few years back, and the three doors roll up anytime the weather allows. This gives us the air of a vacation spot, stuck in the grittiness of the city. We are close to the Hudson and the breezes off the water are
magnificent. The kitchen, with its huge pizza oven and grill, is wide open to the dining room. There is a kitchen table which lends itself to many a festive occasion.

The chairs are mismatched, the wine list mainly Italian, the tables unadorned mahogany, the napkins are kitchen towels. The waiters, shirts are etched with a caricature of our Barbuto dog, meant to illustrate Barbuto, which means ‘beard’ in Italian. The clientele encompasses a wide demographic: locals, models (from my partner’s fashion studio upstairs), tourists from all over the world, business types, families with raucous children, single diners, young, old and in-between.

The nice mix lends itself to a rather casual atmosphere, albeit loud--defiantly not intimate, just the way I like it! The food is a bit brash and is served on simple white or off-white Barbuto plates. The coffee is Italian; the bread is breadsticks or ciabatta, and
garnishing the table, good olives and olive oil. The bar can get pretty hectic, especially in summer, but everyone loves eating and drinking at the bar.

The kitchen table is a favorite spot. It was built with 200-year-old oak planks from a Pennsylvania barn and was tailor-made for the kitchen. It holds up to 14. Here is where the essence of Barbuto really exudes its charm. I cook whatever is seasonally available and good. The food is presented either on long platters or big hunks of roughhewn butcher block. The people serve themselves and there is always a party. This kitchen table is a perfect example of my cooking style at Barbuto, huge mounds of fritto misto, simply adorned insalata mista, steaming heaps of pasta carbonara, whole fish baked in sea salt, etc.

Because of this atmosphere Barbuto has become a New York restaurant icon. Barbuto has truly become an Italian brasserie. The idea has always been to serve Italian food that was fun, gutsy, and seasonally spontaneous.

Q. You are the new “Culinary Ambassador" for Rosa Mexicano. Can you tell us what that entails and what are some of the dishes that you will be adding to the menu?

A. As of now, I am not adding new dishes to the menu, rather doing seasonal and special holiday dishes that I have either concocted or interpreted.

Q. What Mexican restaurants have inspired you?

A. My favorite restaurants are really the street food stalls in Mexico. I am a rustic sort of cook and I love the hand made, freshly harvested nature of these vendors, whether they be blue corn quesadillas with squash blossoms, or handmade stone ground corn tortillas filled with stewed goat or flautas crispy fried, stuffed with free range chicken and topped with freshly made salsas and farmer's cheese. I do like some places in LA, but those street guys have it all. And I do love Rosa!



- A Great American Cook: Recipes from the Home Kitchen of One of Our Most Influential Chefs [Buy It]

Recommended By

- Chef Kurt Gutenbrunner (Wallse, Blaue Gans, Cafe Sabarsky, Upholstery Store in New York, NY)

- Chef Jimmy Bradley (The Red Cat, The Harrison in New York, NY)

- Chef Fergus Henderson (St. John’s Restaurant in London, UK)

- Chef Rick Moonen (RM Seafood in Las Vegas, NV)


West Village


775 Washington Street

New York, NY 10014   

T: 212.924.9700 (make a reservation)





Find | Ingredients

Scotch Bonet Salsa

I use a scotch bonnet salsa from Barbados that is fiery, spicy, hot as hell and delicious!


Chef’s Recs | New York City

Find | Markets & Food Stores

Smoked Fish At Murray’s Sturgeon Shop | Abigndon Square Farmers Market

Photo Credit: Find. Eat. Drink.

Abington Square Farmers Market

Not far from Barbuto is a tiny, ½ block long market. It is one of the many reasons 12th Street is a treasure.


A monument to Joe and Lidia Bastianich and the rolly-polly red haired Mario Batali. It is of unequalled wonderment; I can’t imagine anyone doing a better job of seafood, pasta, breads, olive oil, coffee, and the like.

Fairway Market

We park our SUV on 131th Street. Amongst the many advantages, it is cheap to park, the Dinosaur BBQ joint is on the adjacent corner and the magnificently wacky and indecipherable Fairway offers really anything a food lover could ever need.

Murray's Sturgeon Shop

It’s a throwback to the 40s and 50s. It is tiny, filled with the best of Jewish style fish, chopped liver and, of course, they have real bialys!

West Village Farmers Market

Not far from Barbuto is a tiny, half-block long market at 12th street and Greenwich. It is one the many reasons 12th street is a treasure.

Whole Foods at Time Warner Center

On the conventional side, I do adore Whole Foods in Time Warner, it is a shopper’s paradise. I can meander through aimlessly, until the kaleidoscope of variety finally wears me down. I grab a sushi to go and then back to shopping!

Classics from Zabar’s | Radishes at Union Square Farmers Market

Photograph courtesy of Zabar’s | Photo Credit: Find. Eat. Drink.

Union Square Greenmarket

It is the quintessential Hudson Valley outlet for all things grown in that amazing soil.

Upper West Side Farmers Market

My wife loves to shop here and has her little rolling cart that meanders home laden with melons, squash, chard, onions, tomatoes and corn when the season gets rolling along.


The densely packed, hyperkinetic Zabar's! This store is the heat of my neighborhood, the Upper West Side. They stock the best copper ware and small appliances, the best smoked fish, cured meats, and the massive sundry items that my neighbors line up for in lemming like precision.

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Eat | Restaurants

Restaurants I’d Take A Visiting Chef

EN Japanese Brasserie | Cafe Boulud

Photo Credit: Find. Eat. Drink. | Photograph courtesy of Cafe Boulud


I love and respect April Bloomfield and Ken Friedman... reserve a pig!

Cafe Boulud

Gavin Kaysen is a terrific cook, and the place is run like a Swiss watch factory, impeccable.


Jim Lahey does damn good pizza.


Marc and Vicki are my buddies and Marc Meyer is the most underrated chef in New York. He is humble to the point of pain, but he can out cook almost anyone.

En Brasserie

A gorgeous room and delicate Asian food, the best lunch bargain in the planet, a great place to catch up with old friends.


Il Buco | Il Buco Alimentari & Vineria

Since Il Buco is now two degrees of separation from me (Justin and Joel, the head chefs, are ex-Barbuto alums) I can say that my DNA is now quietly attached to Donna’s wonderful places. Out of town chefs will be tantalized.

Jean Georges

My favorite restaurant.

A Slider from Little Owl | Pasta at Il Buco

Photographs courtesy of Little Owl and Il Buco

Little Owl

Joey Campanaro is a quiet, strong cook. He is also JWax alum, but he is very much his own dude. Tiny, but worth the wait.

Locanda Verde

I am a big fan of Andrew Carmelini, and the garden here is paradise. Who wouldn’t want to go?

Minetta Tavern

Riad, Lee and the crew run the best meat-centric tavern in New York. If you are lucky to get a table, go. My chef buddies always stop here, perhaps it’s the food, but I think it is a perfect joint, a rare combo of great atmosphere, food, drinks and most importantly, amazing service.

Monkey Bar

Now that Ken Freidman has brought in Tom Colicchio’s ex-chef Damon Wise, this a must-see in midtown. And I hear they are somewhat more libertarian with reservations.

Red Cat

Jimmy Bradley, my dear buddy and ex-chef, is a wizard, and his very comfortable eatery and eclectic menu are very easy on the palate.

Standard Grill

Dan Silverman is cool, calm, collected, sophisticated and the room is spectacular, and the eye candy is, well, not hurtful. 


They serve paella and fideuà. I love Spain and it's the only place in NY that you can get that and it's perfect.

Authentic Italian Cuisine | Del Posto

Let Chef Mark Ladner choose, he is brilliant!

[See details.]



Photo Credit: Find. Eat. Drink.


To sit in the patio in summer, drink Rosato and eat delicious food, especially the pizzas, hell, I will go to Brooklyn!

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Drink | Bars

Bemelman’s Bar | King Cole Bar

Photographs courtesy of Bemelman’s Bar | King Cole Bar

Bemelman's Bar at the Carlisle Hotel

For martinis, of course.

Boom Boom Room at the Standard Hotel

For anything cold.

Campbell Apartment in Grand Central Station

For a Manhattan.

Four Seasons Hotel Bar

For a glass of expensive white wine.

Harry's Bar at the Helmsley Park Lane
For a Negroni.

The King Cole bar at the St. Regis Hotel

For a Side Car.

MObar at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel

For sake or a cold beer.

Per Se

For Champagne.

Rosa Mexicano
For a Margarita.

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Chef’s Recs | Miami, FL

Eat | Restaurants

David’s Cafe in Miami

Photograph courtesy of David’s Cafe


I love Cuban food. I like their Yucca Frita, plantains, and grilled Mahi.

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Chef’s Recs | France

Find | Markets

Annecy | Annecy Market

I adore the canal market here. It’s full of high mountain honey, foraged wild fruit, wild mushrooms, free range chickens, gorgeous strawberries and herbs.

Paris | Raspail Market

The organic market on Raspail in Paris is cozy and special, festooned with the best looking cheeses, artichokes, specialty meats and lovely fruit.

[See details.]

Eat | Restaurants

Grand Bornand | La Ferme de Lormay

There is a treasure of restaurant in the Alps, near the town of Grand-Bornand. It is the ancient chalet (1786) of the chef’s family, chef Albert Bonamy, with roughhewn logs, low ceilings, in a fairy tale setting alongside a mountain stream under the canopy of an amazing mountain call Point Percee. This humble chalet has a two story chimney where the chef cures his own charcoal-dusted prosciuttos, bakes in unequaled apricot tarts and grills lamb chops from the local shepherds. He also gathers poisonous snakes, tiny little ‘viporin; and drowns them in his own grappa. The elixir is meant to stimulate all the senses, but primarily it is a great shock value to the unexpected.

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Chef’s Recs | Italy

Find | Markets

Venice’s Rialto Mercato

Photo Credit: SueElias [flickr]

Venice | Rialto Mercato

It’s filled with the most spectacular of crazy Adriatic seafood. Next to it is the splendiferous fruit and vegetable market, literally filled with the current seasons' bounty.

[See details.]


- Gnocchi with Springs Vegetables and Basil

- Sautéed Sweetbreads with Huitlacoche & Poblanos

- Lamb Neck Enchilada


Details of Jonathan Waxman’s recommendations for where to eat, drink and shop in New York, Brookyln, Miami, France and Italy.

City Guides

- New York City | Manhattan: Download

- New York City | Brooklyn: Download