Good restaurants are a dime a dozen in New York City, but I found me a real gem this week: a charming wine cellar-restaurant called il Buco. This is one of those restaurants that makes you feel like you’re in a different country when you’re in it, in this case rustic Italy. Wildflowers and antique kitchenware hang from ceilings and walls and enclose a cozy dining space of chicly shabby wooden tables and benches. Perfectly elegant, yet totally unpretentious.
The food didn’t disappoint either. We had quail and king prawns for starters, followed by porchetta and mezza rigatoni entrees. Also did the olive oil tasting since they make the stuff in-house. I guess I haven’t quite acquired a taste for homemade olive oil yet, but two of them had a very faint aftertaste of wheatgrass, which, if you’ve ever tried it, is not unlike eating your own lawn… utterly putrid, but apparently very good for you. Sven brings it home once in a while, in a tiny plastic shot container, tries to make me eat it, and then chews on it like cud. Did I mention it stays in your burp for like 24 hours? Gross!! Ok, back to il Buco and all things charming and rustic… don’t miss out on their pistachio torte or panna cotta with balsamic vinegar (yes, an unexpectedly winning combo) — yummage to the nth degree.