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Il Buco Alimentari e Vineria

Three stars from Pete Wells:


Has anyone tried it?

Il Buco Alimentari & Vineria
53 Great Jones St, New York, NY 10012

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  1. I haven't been but I am a big fan of their restaurant on Bond Street so it wouldn't surprise me if it is fabulous.

    2 Replies
    1. re: City Kid

      i find il buco to be akin to an italian restaurant at epcot center. totally fake, limited menu, mediocre quality.

      basically, its meh italian for wealthy people that dont know any better.

      Il Buco
      47 Bond St., New York, NY 10012

      1. re: sam1

        I've never been to Epcot Center but I have been to Italy many times. I find Il Buco charming and authentic -- love the Italian proprietors, the former rustic antique store decor, and the food. And not inordinately expensive.

    2. I've been several times. I enjoyed it a lot each time. I think the cooking is better and more precise than at OG Il Buco.

      To call this a three-star restaurant, though, is about as big a piece of idiocy as I can imagine.

      1. It was pretty good but three stars? I dunno... It was delicious and all, but it didn't wow me.

        1. As vegetarian's we found the menu incredibly limited and were not wowed by our food. Wells ladled on the praise a little high, but he was clear that it's all about the meat. He also made it seem like a little burst of Italy in NY, but in Italy we rarely find such a limited range of non-meat items on the menu.

          Il Buco Alimentari & Vineria
          53 Great Jones St, New York, NY 10012

          1. Went for lunch today. Food was all very good but nothing mind blowing. Would equate it with Osteria Morini. Service, however, was surprisingly spotty. They forgot our drinks, and we saw many similar mistakes with our neighbors. 3 stars is pretty laughable.

            1. We actually enjoyed our visit this past weekend for lunch. The salumi and bread were excellent and the short rib sandwich was very tasty and much bigger than expected. The paccheri pasta dish was delicious but not as amazing as I was expecting. We've heard bad things about their service but our server, Alana, was wonderful. She was honest about our food being accidentally delivered to the wrong table and gave us a free dessert as an apology (not necessary but a really nice gesture).

              We ended up trying the panna cotta and an espresso / chocolate parfait that were both great. We had a pretty big breakfast and were stuffed after all the food. Really glad we tried it despite some of the feedback I'd seen. I think the salumi, short rib sandwich and panna cotta really stuck out in my mind as being the best eats from the meal. I can't say if it's worthy of 3 stars since I don't always keep up with NY Times reviews but I can say that the food was good and we enjoyed ourselves and would like to go back.

              Il Buco Alimentari & Vineria
              53 Great Jones St, New York, NY 10012

              1. We ate there on Saturday and had a mixed experience. For one, we were seated 25 minutes late for a 9:45 reservation. Not the end of the world. But the service once we were seated ranged from odd to some of the worst we've had in a long time. Two separate waiters came by to see what kind of water we wanted and then both vanished for a very long time. I mean almost 20 minutes. Finally, one came over and said 'It looks like I'll be taking your order.' Our first course was not served until almost 10:45 which was not cool and throughout the night, the two gentlemen would come over and look surprised to see someone else had come over. Other sloppy things like red wine poured into a half-full glass of white were amateurish but certainly didn't ruin the experience. But for service that uneven, the food needs to be good.

                The breads and olive oil are wonderful. They are 'wheaty' and the oil is very full bodied and grassy which I love. The salumi as well are almost worth the price of admission. Fried artichokes were not fried well. I think restaurants should avoid this dish unless they can really nail it. Cicoria was the best dish of the night. Tart and fresh and something I would order again in a second. Caio e pepe was just ok. Undersalted and the pasta was a tiny bit overdone which can really kill that dish I think. The porchetta is good. Actually very good but I have to say that the one at Buon Italia in Chelsea Market is far better. Salted caramel gelato was amazing. A great dessert that wish was available at the end of every meal.

                The wine list is fun but the service is so poor that it became impossible to pair the wines (my wife and I were sharing glasses). For one, the dishes came out in a different order than they were supposed to and at one point we ate a couple courses and had the plates cleared before our waiter(s) came to check on us or offer us the next wine so we just skipped it.

                I would guess that at an off-hour, one can have a very nice casual meal there but I don't they're quite able to deliver consistent service when they are busy.


                5 Replies
                1. re: JeremyEG

                  heh...enjoyed reading your review...service sounds like a bad joke...sadly, i think that's the case at a lot of places in NYC (imo, while there are lots of nice exceptions, service in NYC restaurants is miserable compared to Paris, London, Seattle, Japan, etc, etc)...

                  1. re: Simon

                    Yeah, not so sure about that. Have been in NYC over 13yrs and have never eaten at a NYT 3 star place with such comically bad service.

                    1. re: jimmyjazz

                      the "NYT" has declined in their standards too :)

                      1. re: jimmyjazz

                        That's because IBA isn't REALLY a NYT three-star. Peter Wells just THINKS it is, for some reason that no one but him can understand.

                        1. re: Sneakeater

                          I dunno, seems to me if the lead restaurant critic for the NYT thinks it's an NYT three-star, then that's what it is. We civilians can disagree, but that doesn't change the Times rating.

                  2. My wife and I had dinner last night. Some deliciousness, some meh-ness. Service was OK. We arrived 10 minutes early for our 8 pm reservation and we're told, in a sort of a pushy manner, "We'll seat you at 8"--while we were looking at several open tables and we were the only ones standing and witing. The hostess then tried to sell us a table at the bar--not that we'd never want that, but the sell job was a little ungracious.

                    My drink (the Viola, a tasty if odd-looking gin, creme de violette cocktail) and wines (Latium soave, Channing Daughters rose) were good.

                    Fried artichokes were beautiful but not very flavorful. I agree with the other poster that this dish should be avoided unless it's done superbly.

                    Ricotta with snap peas, mint, and almonds was OK in my opinion, but my wife loved it.

                    Bacala fritters were blah.

                    Sausage appetizer was quite tasty, in an unusually dense, almost merguez-like way.

                    Pastas--one with chilies and scallions and one with bottarga-were both great. The bottarga one was expecially luscious and bright.

                    Porchetta was terrific in my opinion. Seasonings didn't overwhelm the delicious pork, it was cooked perfectly, and the cracklings were excellent.

                    Salted caramel gelato was good, but didn't wow me really.

                    Cheeses were nice, especially the blue, though it would have been nice to have had some more info about them beside the names.

                    I'd go back for the pasta and to try some other things--the salume and the short ribs, which were being constantly ordered (we sat at the two seats that look into the kitchen).