Busalacchis Enter Next Era With Little Italy’s Barbusa
In a few weeks, the Busalacchi family, led by patriarch Joe Busalacchi, will unveil Barbusa, the new Little Italy restaurant that’s a revamp of the experienced restaurateur’s Po Pazzo on India Street.
While Po Pazzo opened in 2004 as an old school Italian chophouse, Barbusa is being positioned as a modern Sicilian trattoria, with an entirely redesigned space that includes a patio flanked by living green walls and bi-fold doors that open into the dining room. Inside, there’s a new shiny white Carrara marble bar that will feature 12 taps of craft beer, a six-seat section with a dedicated chef composing crudo and carpaccio dishes, a chilled case for meats and cheeses, and an eight-person chef’s table. As Busalacchi restaurants are always a family affair, executive chef Nino Zizzo is Joe’s nephew; Zizzo says his menu is a mix of updated traditional dishes from Sicily and Mediterranean-inflenced plates ranging from starters to pizza, handmade pasta, seafood and a holdover from Po Pazzo, the signature ribeye.
General manager PJ Busalacchi, Joe’s son, told Eater that the Busalacchi’s San Diego Italian Restaurants team intends to follow up Barbusa with a rebranding and remodeling of some of its other holdings, which include Busalacchi’s A Modo Mio in Hillcrest and Little Italy’s Trattoria Fantastica.
Expect more changes to come