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Aug 2, 2006 05:29 PM

Il Buco or Le Gigot?

Dear Chowhounders:

I have to decide between Il Buco and Le Gigot for a romantic dinner this weekend. Which one do I pick to help get me out of the dog house (still recovering from my last poor dinner selection)?

I'm worried about Il Buco as I haven't been there since Ignacio Mattos took over the helm. I have never been to Le Gigot before either, although there are some good posts here that led me to pick it.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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  1. My wife and I ate at Il Buco last week with my parents and my brother and it was one of the best meals any of us have ever had in nyc. The food was wonderful and the staff was very friendly and helpful (I think other 'hounds have had a problem with Il Buco's staff in the past, but it looks like they've got some good folks there now.) The menu changes all the time, but if they have the sausage appetizer or the arugula salad, I would go for those. Also, the atmosphere is so pleasant that if the food doesn't turn out perfect, it's still a great evening. . .

    I've never been to Le Gigot though, so I can't compare. But Il Buco is definitely in good hands these days.

    1. Le Gigot is a tiny room, with tables packed, so some might not find it romantic. I haven't been recently enough to comment on the food.

      1. I much prefer Le Gigot. The room is certainly more romantic and the staff are great. I find Il Buco to be a bit limited sometimes on entree choice and several times I've eaten there with my husband and been sat at a big table with another couple (which pretty much kills the romance factor).

        1. i HATE HATE HATE il buco. i wrote a post about it here

          (if that doesn't work, just search for il buco awful).

          i HIGHLY suggest going anywhere but there.

          1. I just want to report back - I decided to go to Il Buco and it was fantastic. I certainly could not complain about the food or the aesthetic (we sat in the wine cellar). We had an early reservation (6:30pm), which may have given us more of a chance to receive some great service since the restaurant was not terribly packed. I suppose the fact that it was also August in New York City helped too. I would certainly recommend this location to anyone who would find a rustic aesthetic and amazing food worthwhile (and is willing to spend a little money). I would also suggest focusing on a few appetizer plates (which change on a daily basis) rather than the entrees (we had three appetizers and two entrees). Also, while some of the front of the house service can appear too nonchalant, I found the wait staff to be very helpful and attentive. I can understand the postings about the service being inconsistent, but by the time I left the restaurant, they were extremely busy and I could certainly understand a staff being overwhelmed. HI can also see why people do not understand the appeal of Il Buco. Like most firmly entrenched neighborhood spots in New York Il Buco speaks to a loyal group of patrons who are accustomed to the restaurant and its quirks. Sorry, Jon!