Let’s call the location “model block”. There were so many gorgeous young, very tall, models walking along the street, getting into their private car services, and sporting very, very high heels (not that they needed them). The block? Bond Street between Bowery and Lafayette. I was excited to pass Cindy Barshop’s Completely Bare salon on my way to the restaurant. I definitely want to check it out.
But anyway, I am off on an early morning tangent for a change. Back to the restaurant review.
We started off outside, having a glass of wine as we waited for our entire party to arrive. The guy pouring the wine had “more than a little” attitude. Maybe it was because he was only about five feet and two inches, and he works on “model block”. I’m not sure, but he was not a charmer. There are only a couple of tables outside, and it was a gorgeous night, but we went inside, which was a smart move. The restaurant is beautifully decorated. It is dark and rustic and charming. It really makes you feel as if you are “in” Italy, not just dining Italian.
That was where my love for the restaurant ended, though our reviews were mixed. There were seven of us, and I think we were split about three to four… three against, four for, or maybe four against, three four.
The menu is very small and strange. If you want a salad, forget it. There is nothing simple like a mixed green salad on this menu. It runs more towards anchovies and fluke and beef carpaccio with a bit of rabbit thrown in (I never eat Bugs Bunny). For a couple of us more picky eaters it was not easy to find something to eat at all. And, it was pretty expensive.
In my opinion (along with two or three of my friends last night) Il Buco is a one-time event. In other words, we will not be going back. We spent a lot, didn’t enjoy it that much, and were actually hungry afterwards. Not a winning formula in my review book.
We will give it three and a half thumbs up and three and a half thumbs down, making it an even lukewarm. Want Italian? Go to Morandi, or Peasant, or Laconda Verde or Osteria Morini instead. Want down and dirty? Go to Marinella’s on Carmine Street. It has been around forever, but the food is much better than Il Buco’s, and you will save a ton of money.