Sunday, December 29, 2013

Travel Notes: New York Restaurants, Part 1

I hope that you have all had a very happy Christmas.  Mine was perfect - great company, great food and a very relaxed pace.  I couldn't have asked for anything more.  I am now in New York and spending the majority of my time doing what I like to do best in New York - visiting restaurants. I needed to share a few, which I plan to do over a series of posts.

First up:

Il Buco Alimentari e Vineria - Great Jones Street, East Village

Il Buco Alimentari e Vineria is an offshoot of Il Buco on Bond Street, used as a production outpost and market but also with semi-casual dining in the back and upstairs.  The wooden chairs, stocked pantry cabinets, tea lights and classic linen napkins make the restaurant feel very cozy.  The market section at the front of the restaurant is far enough removed from the dining section that you aren't jostled by shoppers and, in fact, you hardly notice.

I have now been here twice, once in 2013 for lunch and once in 2012 for dinner, and the food was amazing both times.  For lunch, I shared the salumi della casa selezione per quattro and crispy artichoke with preserved lemon, both of which were very good.  I then had the roasted gnocchi with Pennsylvania mushrooms.  Gnocchi is one of my favourite Italian dishes, but I had never had roasted gnocchi, and I was very surprised at how different the texture was.  The gnocchi had a firm outside, similar to what you would expect if you pan-fried them. The mushrooms were in large pieces and were well cooked and, combined with the shards of cheese, were a perfect match for the gnocchi.  For dessert, we split an apple crostata with vanilla gelato and salted caramel gelato - both great.  

For drinks, I started with the honeycrisp fizz cocktail - tequila, smashed apple, celery, mint and tonic, which was really refreshing.  I then switched to the Antina' Tsoli Santorini, which was an alright, easy drinking white.  We had prosecco with dessert though, and that was perfect.

Ratings: (numbers out of 10, £ out of 4)

Food: 8
Atmosphere: 8
Service: 9
Price: £££
Overall experience: 9

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