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the sweet scoop
For one of the most autentico Italian experiences around, get your appetite ready and head to Il Buco Alimentari & Vineria. NoHo’s rustic market, salumeria, bakery, wine bar and restaurant is an extension of former chef Ignacio Mattos’s original Il Buco, located on adjacent Bond Street.
In the front Alimentari grocery section, you can purchase artisanal dry goods, cured meats, and freshly baked bread to enjoy at home. Or settle into the warm, cozy Vineria and restaurant to sample seasonal specialties featuring organic, local produce and proteins from eco-friendly farms—which chef Justin Smillie precisely crafts using traditional Italian methods. Varied individual and high communal tables invites sharing the love with friends—or making new ones. Belly up to a spot by the open kitchen for a front row view of the staff busily churning out delicacies.
While the atmosphere charms, the simple, straightforward cuisine is most likely to entice a repeat visit. Served with crusty, chewy Italian bread, the house-made ricotta is a must have starter. A pillow of soft curds garnished with sugar snap peas, toasted pine nuts, mint, granola and a swirl of honey offered an inviting sweet-savory sensation. Another knockout appetizer of Manila clams arrived resting in zesty roasted pepper and garlic broth, thick cubes of pancetta sprinkled throughout.
Vegetable contorni, charcuterie and fresh pastas, seafood and meats complete the menu. Try the delicate twirls of “busiate” pasta coated with almonds, anchovies, sun-ripened duana tomatoes and capers. For a heartier entrée, the signature spit-roasted short ribs presented large chunks of tender, peppery meat edged by darkened, chewy bark. They were both exceptional mains.
Offering breakfast, lunch and dinner, Il Buco Alimentari & Vineria is a solid choice for a romantic date night or breaking bread with a group. Make a reservation to guarantee a prompt seating—then prepare to mangia.
My review as published in the Clean Plates Manhattan 2013 Restaurant Guide Book (purchase it here) and on CleanPlates.com. Photo courtesy of LocalEats.com.
More than 40 chefs, hundreds of hungry carnivores, thousands of pounds of meat. Last Saturday’s Meatopia on Randall’s Island was an ambitious culinary spectacular where whisky and beer flowed freely and meat reigned supreme. Event founder Josh Ozersky seriously upped the ante from last year’s meat-filled fest and successfully executed one of the most organized and enjoyable food events of the year—in spite of some wet weather.
Some of the highlights and best bites from Meatopia 2012:
The talented lineup of chefs and pit masters showcased at this year’s “City of Meat” (including Marc Forgione, Alex Guarnaschelli, Franklin Becker, April Bloomfield, Naomi Pomeroy and many others) focused on utilizing whole animals, and dished up a dizzying array of meats prepared in every way, shape and form. A few of the most mouthwatering dishes included Pat LaFrieda‘s whole marinated Creekstone steer, Justin Smillie‘s succulent spit-roasted short ribs, Portuguese paella with soft egg and jalapeños from Anthony Goncalves, tender grilled rib steak with bone marrow butter and pickled grilled onions from Marc Forgione, and the undeniable crowd favorite, Aaron Franklin’s BBQ beef brisket—which blew away any preconceived notions of what brisket should taste like.
While the event was in full swing, dark grey clouds rolled in and the sky opened up on the carnivorous crowd. Luckily, the Amstel Light and Diageo tents provided shelter from the rain, along with music, entertainment and unlimited tasty beverages. While weathering the storm in the George Dickel Tennessee Whisky tent, I had a blast watching Discovery Channel’s Jimmy DiResta handcraft an entire wooden bar from scratch and downed delicious whisky cocktails like the “Possum Eatin’ Peach Pits”—my favorite drink of the night, and the perfect complement to the savory all-meat menu.
Congrats to another successful Meatopia! Looking forward to even more meaty madness in 2013. And to tempt your taste buds in the meantime, dive into the peachy punch cocktail recipe below:
Possum Eatin’ Peach Pits Recipe
1 ounce George Dickel Tennessee Whisky
1/4 ounce Stirrings Peach Liqueur
1/2 ounce Olorosso Sherry
1 teaspoon Amaro CioCiaro
1/2 ounce black tea
1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice
1/4 ounce simple syrup
Slices peaches and strawberries for garnish
Combine all ingredients into a cocktail shaker; Shake well. Pour contents into a rocks glass. Garnish with sliced peaches and strawberries. Cheers!
Drumroll, please… Last night, Time Out New York announced the 2012 Food & Drink Awards winners during their industry awards event at Skylight West. Hosted by Time Out’s Food & Drink editor, Jordana Rothman, the annual culinary celebration honors the city’s best restaurants, chefs, bars and mixologists. “It’s been great to see so many restaurants and bars breaking the grip of comfort food and exploring fresh new terrain,” says Jordana. “This year’s list of winners is incredibly diverse, but what unites them all…is a sure-footed confidence.”
TONY’s food-loving readers casted more than 100,000 votes to determine ten winners in the Readers’ Choice categories—top honors included Best New Restaurant (The Dutch), Chef of the Year (Seamus Mullen, Tertulia), Best New Beer Bar (La Birreria), Best New Cocktails (Maison Premiere), Best Spin-Off (Parm) and Best New Pizza (Forcella). Additionally, ten Critics’ Picks were presented, in aptly named categories ranging from The Instant Classic Award (Il Buco Alimentari & Vineria) and The Intergalactic Kitten Award (Isa), to Best Dim Sum Provocateur (RedFarm) and Best Love Letter to the Philippines (Maharlika Filipino Moderno).
Guests took in stunning 360-degree views of the Manhattan skyline, sipped beer, wine and spirits from Stella Artois and Frederick Wildman & Sons, and nibbled on treats from nominated spots such as Fatty ‘Cue, Il Buco Alimentari & Vineria, Zucker Bakery, Bien Cuit and Dominique Ansel Bakery. For the full list of this year’s winners, click here.
Many congrats to all the winners and nominees!