You’ll laugh! You’ll cry!
That’s something you’re supposed to say about the opening of a Broadway show, rather than the closing of a New York restaurant. But when that restaurant is Jonathan Waxman’s Barbuto, you get both. To commemorate the beloved West Village neighborhood spot’s final month of service, Barbuto’s staff has dropped a video.
“One May More” is a Les Miserables parody (of “One Day More”) that both mourns the restaurant’s closing and celebrates its legacy.
“One May more/one last chicken/one last gnocchi,” the song begins, namechecking two of Barbuto’s signature dishes (the kale salad, carbonara, and several cocktails pop up later).
There are inside jokes (“please don’t ask if we have ketchup,”) and a shout-out to InStyle editor and regular Laura Brown), but also genuine, if occasionally over-the-top, pathos (just like Les Mis!). “What will I do after this May?,” a bartender sings. “It’s been 10 years since I started.”
The camera follows the casually black-clad staff throughout the restaurant’s bar, open kitchen and garage-doored dining space before settling on Waxman, at a laptop somewhere in the back of the kitchen/storage space. His cameo highlights the fact that Barbuto’s employees probably have more of a musical theater background than its chef does. (Truly: co-director Gilbert Sanchez and concept creator Juliet Kapanjie are both actors.)
Waxman responded on Instagram with a heart emoji (“the heartbeat of the restaurant,” he said of the staff), and his post includes replies from Katie Couric, Rustic Canyon’s Jeremy Fox, and The Henry’s JJ Johnson.
Waxman, who is one of the many legends who made their name at Michael’s in Santa Monica, opened Barbuto in 2004. The restaurant’s lease was up, and the building also has a new owner with other (non-restaurant) plans for the property.
As the song and video makes clear, Barbuto’s last night of service is May 31, though according to the New York Times, Waxman hopes to reopen it at another location. In the meantime, that gnocchi, chicken with salsa verde, and kale salad can also be found at Jams, Waxman’s restaurant at 1 Hotel Central Park.