1024 Northern Blvd, Roslyn
(516) 277-2828



Ambiance: Hip, Big-City Appeal

THE PRE-OPENING INFORMATION about Barto made me skeptical. Donald Finley, who along with his wife, Annie, owns Barto, also operates novelty themed restaurants like Adventure Park in Bayville and Jekyll and Hyde in Manhattan. They’re successful operations but not known for culinary innovation. Though I need not have been concerned; while its décor and menu strive to create a modern, trendy restaurant, most of the time it delivers, mainly with the décor. It’s a handsome, if noisy place with a high, swirl-shaped ceiling, skylights, a red Venetian glass chandelier, massive pillars and walls of Andy Warhol-style oversized flowers and living greenery.

The food on the diverse, thoughtfully constructed menu is overall ok and offers an array of Italian, American, Mexican and Japanese dishes. We sampled four starters: a fresh and light market green salad featuring toasted quinoa and a few shaved radishes that’s dressed with a tangy lemon-thyme vinaigrette ($14); a warm asparagus salad with an egg purée in a mellow truffle hollandaise ($14); a generous portion of crisp, grease-free fried calamari ($15); and best of all, a beef short rib taco—a high stack of shredded meat, lettuce, lime and jalapeno cream perched on a tortilla shell ($16).

A skyscraper, jaw-busting French cheeseburger layered with grass fed beef, bacon, chipotle, onion jam, sun dried tomatoes, cheddar cheese and French fries ($19) was quite an entrée challenge even for the hungriest of diners. And the very thin cut marinated skirt steak ($32) came as requested, medium rare, with roasted kale, chimichurri and (supposedly) triple cooked potatoes.

Chef Hatim Abid’s Moroccan background is evident in his tender, tasty Moroccan braised organic chicken on an olive, lemon, saffron bed of couscous ($26). If that was Barto’s showstopper (and it was) the skimpy, dry (crying out for more mayo), overpriced lobster roll ($27) was the opposite. The wine list is exorbitant too, with prices north of $40 for its lowest cost selections.

The six sweets ($11) are all respectable. Both the dark chocolate s’mores and double chocolate cake will satisfy chocoholics. Even better is the seasonal berry cobbler. It’s smooth and sweet, extracting more flavors from the fruit than seem possible from familiar ingredients.

richard jay scholem

Richard Jay Scholem practically invented the Long Island restaurant culture through 800+ reviews of the region's eateries both on radio and in print over the last 30 years. He is a former New York Times Long Island Section restaurant reviewer, has contributed to the Great Restaurants of...magazines and Bon Vivant, authored a book, aired reviews on WGSM and WCTO radio stations, served on the board of countless community and food and beverage organizations, and received many accolades for his journalism in both print and broadcast media. He is currently available for restaurant consultation. Reach him at (631) 271-3227.