Il Buco Alimentari is an offshoot of the original Il Buco on Bond Street. It is a rustic Italian casual spot with a full shop serving house cured meats and home baked breads in the front of the house. This was truly one of our favorite spots of the year. Keep in mind that casual means vibe, not price. This was our record-breaker of the season in terms of price. It was my birthday celebration, so we didn’t hold back. We ate only appetizers, but tried about 1/2 of the offerings. We had drinks, wine and after dinner drinks. Please note, they charge a bread cover of $1/basket :). Really? We want to add a special shout out to Jan from work, who very thoughtfully gave me a gift card for Il Buco. It was MUCH appreciated! We also ran into Paula out for dinner with friends. Small world!
The atmosphere at Il Buco is just how we love it – casual with high ceilings, exposed brick walls, rustic as well as modern details. The entrance is part of the store, so it is quite crowded and busy. There is a cash register, meat counters and a hostess stand. We were escorted to the lower level which in the rear and about 4 steps down from the entry area. The bar is located there and the center of the room is a gigantic communal table. Just a note, 2 person parties are seated at the bar to dine or at the communal table. There are also two seats at the open kitchen.
There were no ‘favorites’ on this menu. Everything was perfect. This is a rare occasion for us! And since we did a holiday extravaganza of restaurants, we certainly saw our share of octopus, quail, hamachi crudo and foie gras. Not to mention brussels sprouts, kale salads and housemade pastas. This was the best version in every case. The only place we enjoyed more was our 2 year running favorite restaurant, ABC Kitchen. We went there for Christmas dinner 2 years in a row. And a Thanksgiving!
So here’s the rundown from top to bottom as it appears on the menu, not in the order we ate it!
13 Crispy Artichokes, preserved lemon
24 Hamachi Crudo, cucumber granita, trout caviar
18 Carpaccio di Baccala, house salted cod, meyer lemon, sea beans, chili, carta di musica
19 Pulpo ala Plancha, seared octopus, shaved carrots, pomelo, lemon, radish, black garlic
19 Cannolicchi, seared razor clams, celery, yuzu, hearts of palm
18 Grilled Vermont Quail, persimmon, puffed farro, yoghurt
19 Fegato D’Anatra, shaved foie gras, clementine mostarda, filone
9 Seasonal Fruit (Apple) Crostata, vanilla gelato
13 Nonino Amaro 12 Marsala NV
12 Prosecco 15 Nebbiolo (2)
13 Vodka Sodas (2)
Wow, what an extravaganza. We so enjoyed ourselves! There is no question we will go back. Paula and friends ordered full entrees, which were on the large side, they said. We will go back and try the balance of the menu, I am sure! But we can highly recommend most of the appetizer menu. And we did not leave completely stuffed.
53 Great Jones Street – Noho