Yesterday I had the best dinner out I have had in a long, long time!!! It was at Il Buco Alimentari & Vineria the new baby sister to the famous Il Buco restaurant that is a staple of New York City Italian dining, Our intention was to go to Il Buco, but when I tried to make a reservation the suggestion was made that I try the new spot, so I did,
One of the best decisions we have made in a long time.
As soon as you walk in, you are in the market section of the restaurant. This is where you can get all the meats and cheeses you could want. Once passed there you are at the hostess. We checked in and were brought over to the best seat in the house. The chefs table. I can't believe we were lucky enough to sit and watch these guys in action.
It was like no kitchen I have ever been able to watch before. There was a wonderful calmness that you could feel. These guys seemed to all be in sync, and all be truly enjoying what they were doing. They were getting their jobs done and they were smiling. What kitchen does that happen in???
We started off with the grilled Squid which you can see looked amazing. It tasted just as good as it looked. It reminded me of the way Octopus is usually served. They had it atop of soft potatoes in a grain mustard sauce that was really delicate and went really well with the tender squid. The micro greens on top added a nice freshness to it as well.
Next up at the table were these amazing cubes of fried Polenta covered in shaved Parmesan. They of course were perfect. Nice and crunchy outside with a soft creamy inside. I could have had those alone and been completely staisfied. Along with the Polenta the Gnudi came to the table. If you have never had Gnudi you are missing something special from your life. It's like getting to eat just the inside of a Ravioli. At Il Buco Alimentari & Vineria they serve these beautiful dumplings in a butter and sage sauce. It's one of those things that when you eat you can't help but smile!
Along with out Polenta and Gnudi came our 2 main dishes. The roasted chicken and the short rib. Words have not reached me in the past 24 hours that can accurately describe these meat dishes. Both served on wooden planks, the chicken was covered in shaved kumquats and roasted and quartered Brussels Sprouts. This chicken was so flavorful I almost didn't believe it was chicken.
The show stopping, foot stomping, perma-grin giving, dish to end all dishes was the beef short rib.I have no idea what they did, but whoever did this must have graduated from Hogwarts. This was nothing short of pure white magic encrusted in whole peppercorns and covered in walnuts and shaved celery. I know that sounds a little bazaar, but it works... It really, really works. I have not stopped thinking about it. Just look at the picture below. Never has there been a more amazing piece of meat. Nor have I ever seen a single short rib big enough to make a whole meal out of.
I know I am gushing, but between the amazing seat, the amazing food, the amazing wine (I have no idea what I was drinking, but it was a fantastic white that our lovely server suggested), and of course the amazing partner in dinner crime, P2, I had an AMAZING dining experience. It will be a long time before I will be able to not judge every other Italian restaurant in NYC against this.
If you live in New York City, or if you are coming to visit you HAVE to go to Il Buco Alimentari & Vineria.
The food, the service, the atmospher were all you could want from a casual chic Noho restaurant. Even saw a few celebs!