Tables for Two
by Kelly Snowden, New York Observer contributor, 02/05/2009
4. Il Buco
47 Bond St. • 212-533-1932
Bond Street mainstay Il Buco began life on this cobblestone street as an antiques store, which is evident in the asymmetrical wrought-iron chandeliers and hanging copper cookware. If your grandmother were hip—and Tuscan—this is what her country retreat might have looked like. The communal tables are rough-hewn, and the shelves teeter with festive pottery. A haute barnyard theme extends to the food. The Italian seasonal menu features a rotating cast of appetizers, like briny, citrus-infused Caesar salad, or a lush, savory polenta. A slinky pappardelle comes with intensely flavored pork sausage in a broth-like sauce. Lasagna is cooked until the thin noodles crinkle up ever so slightly at the edge, giving them a pleasant, nutty crunch. Ubiquitous roast chicken manages to be a standout, with crackling skin and super-juicy meat. The accompanying wax beans, in a light almond dressing, have a snap that makes them as addictive as French fries. The wine cellar's list is diverse and deep, focused, of course, on Italians. For a sweet closing, the panna cotta's richness is cut with the acidity of balsamic vinegar, a perfect treat for two.
Table for Two
Set downstairs in the restaurant's wine cellar, Table C3 is one of only a few that isn't shared communally with other diners. The subterranean location gives this two-top a secluded privacy that few others in the city can match.
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