Tomato, Barbuzzo

Thursday, December 9, 2010

I've decided that my next mini trip will be to the City of Brotherly Love. Over the past few years I've had little inklings here and there to take a road trip up to Philadelphia, based on what I've heard about it. But I must admit I have an ulterior motive for my visit. Philadelphia, if you can believe it, will be my introduction to Italy. What I really mean is that Philadelphia's Italian culinary scene will set the preliminary stage for a summer trip to Italy that I've been tinkering with in my head for awhile. I've had this slightly fantastical idea to take a two week foodie's journey through Italy. Not on an eat, pray, love kick or anything. But I was this close to Italy a few years ago when my brother and I traveled through England and France, but never quite made it. It'd be nice this time around to perhaps try my hand at a couple of cooking classes during those two weeks, become a student all over again to something completely unrelated to my current career choice, and learn a few techniques.

But back to Philly. Stallone helped make its Italian neighborhoods popular with Rocky, and young foodies today have helped galvanize that heritage by setting up one spectacular restaurant after the next along the Italian Market on 9th St.

At my day job, I work with some pretty stellar photographers and designers, and one of them is an incredibly kind and talented Philadelphia-based photographer named Jason Varney who keeps a tasty photo blog called "Fussing With Forks". On it, he displays his perfect eye for detail and love of food, describing himself as a "part-time foodie, full-time photographer". One of his posts featured his shots of the awesome restaurant Barbuzzo on Philly's 13th St, and I literally salivated over the photo of fresh pacherri (last photo at the bottom)! Pork, escarole, basil, burrata (luscious cheese made from mozzarella with cream)! That, in my head, is the perfect pasta dish. The entire menu reads like a rustic Italian cookbook with modern twists: sheep and goat's milk, truffles, oven dried tomatoes, sausage, caviocavallo, apricot mustard, and almond milk polenta, arugula, and of course prosciutto.

 Photos by Jason Varney

Needless to say, Barbuzzo solidified my desire to take that road trip all the sooner. They even have a blog, which you can follow here! So, adding Barbuzzo and Tweed (another restaurant out there) to my wish-list of food spots to check out in the City of Brotherly Love over the course of one weekend is the warm-up to what I hope to experience and gain from that trip to Italy. Ciao!


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