A new vision of Italian comes to South Street Seaport

By Erik Mathes

When Hurricane Sandy passed through NYC in 2012, the entire area just south of the Brooklyn Bridge on the Manhattan side became a shell of its former self, with all businesses essentially wiped out. Among the reeling were the husband-and-wife team of Stefano Barbagallo and Adriana Luque, restaurateurs and co-owners of the former South Street Seaport staple Barbarini Alimentari, which was obliterated by the superstorm.

But Barbagallo and Luque are fighters. With ample experience running businesses, the couple decided that the knockout blow to Barbarini was merely a fluke in a long battle. The pair were were poised to come back with a vengeance for the rematch, rebuilding in the same location. Combining parts of their last names, they coined the name Barbalu and developed the vision for version 2.0: doing Italian their way, and doing their part to give the Seaport area back its old relevance.

And it seems to be working.

Antipasti like burrata Pugliese with prosciutto and roasted tiger shrimp with a cool cannelloni bean salad are both visually and texturally pleasing (and, yes, also delicious), and if you can find us anyone who doesn’t love the oven-roasted eggplant croquettes with balsamic glaze and creamy dipping sauce, we’ll be shocked. Those looking for lighter fare will fall hard for the roasted red beets, pistachio, and goat cheese salad, and pasta aficionados will love the al dente rigatoni with salmon and sliced mushrooms in a light tomato sauce.

Sandy sure did try, but clearly, there’s no stopping this savvy couple from conquering the Seaport with their fresh take on Italian cuisine.


Sun–Thu 11 AM–10:30 PM; Fri–Sat 11 AM–11 PM

price range

$24 (roasted chicken with pancetta, sage, and mashed potatoes) to $26 (sea bass with onions, tomatoes ,and olives)