The instant classic award: Il Buco Alimentari & Vineria

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  • Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz

    Bucatini alla gricia at Il Buco Alimentari & Vineria

  • Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz

    Il Buco Alimentari & Vineria

  • Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz

    Il Buco Alimentari & Vineria

  • Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz

    Il Buco Alimentari & Vineria

  • Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz

    Il Buco Alimentari & Vineria

  • Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz

    Il Buco Alimentari & Vineria

  • Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz

    Il Buco Alimentari & Vineria

  • Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz

    Salt-crusted branzino at Il Buco Alimentari & Vineria

  • Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz

    Lamb ribs at Il Buco Alimentari & Vineria

  • Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz

    Leeks at Il Buco Alimentari & Vineria

Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz

Bucatini alla gricia at Il Buco Alimentari & Vineria


With so many chefs racing to build empires of spin-offs, book deals and network-TV cameos, it’s rare to find restaurateurs who pour all of their energy into one hit eatery. But Il Buco—a mainstay of the downtown dining scene since the ’90s and a pioneer in the sort of rustic Italian food now consuming the city—is an intriguing anomaly. Owner Donna Leonard took her sweet time (18 years, to be exact) to unveil her first offshoot this year, Il Buco Alimentari & Vineria. And boy, was it worth the wait. Only weeks into its opening, the hybrid bakery, food shop, café and trattoria could already pass for an institution, as confident as its decades-old sibling with sure-footed service, the familial bustle of a neighborhood pillar, and heady aromas of wood-fired short ribs and salt-crusted fish drifting from an open kitchen. This is expansion done right—not a clone but an annex, a new classic just steps from the enduring spot that inspired it. 53 Great Jones St between Bowery and Lafayette St (212-837-2622, ilbucovineria.com)

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