47 Bond St., New York, NY (Bowery & Lafayette St.)
Il Buco began its life in the 90’s as an antique shop, selling dishware, copper pots, chairs and paintings collected from Mediterranean travels. At one point, the owners started serving midday Italian meals to their customers. The shop soon evolved into an enoteca, then a full-fledged restaurant specializing in ultra-fresh Mediterranean cuisine. Il Buco still has all the Old World charm of a loved and lived-in European home. Chef Ignacio Mattos focuses on the bold flavors of simplistic, prime ingredients. And, with a menu that changes nightly, fresh seafood fare is the order of the day—try the cod croquettes and octopus with Umbrian chickpeas and parsley over charred bruschetta. Or taste the sage-rubbed porchetta with garlicky black kale alongside a glass of wine. The Panna Cotta here, “cooked cream” drizzled with 10-year aged balsamic vinegar is a puff of pure perfection. The owners no longer sell their furnishings, but they’ve achieved longtime success with their greater calling.
Photo credit: Zagat Buzz
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