The new Barsotti’ (for decades known Carbone’s until there was a little lawsuit) trades in the former’s minimalist and bright decor for an interior that speaks in more Italian restaurant tones. There’s a new tile floor, tin ceilings, rich wallpaper along the back wall and a small bar that wraps around the edge of the kitchen. A banquette divides most of the dining room, upholstered in a rich burgundy.
Menu-wise, many of the classics remain. We couldn’t resist ordering the vodka tortellini ($26), which tasted better than we remembered. The vodka sauce is phenomenal, and the tortellini are filled with a bit of savory pork that we didn’t remember in the original. And the Sunday gravy ($26) tops a dish of perfectly al dente creste pasta. There’s ground beef, sausage and more tiny globes of pork, and you can taste the hours of simmering in each forkful. If you can’t get enough Sunday gravy on your plate, Barsotti’s still sells containers of the stuff to go.
Start with asparagus perfectly cooked and topped with Calabrese chili oil and Parmesan. The calamari is crispy and light, not even the slightest bit greasy. But that crispy batter hides much of the seafood flavor. That didn’t stop us from eating the entire plate, alternating dips in the sweet and tangy marina and a remoulade.
Barsotti's still has that textbook cannoli on the dessert menu, as well as a carrot cake topped with caramel, but we opted for a chocolate layer cake ($15) topped with a chocolate ganache. The cake was moist and light, not too sweet, and a perfect end to our meal.