Long has my appetite lusted for the supposed short rib splendor that lay behind the wooden doors of Il Buco Alimentari, so with Anne, Ish and Mr. FoodandPants in tow, we paid the cute, bustling spot a visit to verify the rumors.
We whet our palates with their ricotta appetizer, housemade ricotta topped with shaved porcini mushrooms, hazelnuts and mint.
Anne became more obsessed with this dish than anyone at the table, with good reason, as the cracked black pepper and healthy drizzle of olive oil melded nicely with the fresh, creamy ricotta.
We shared a plate of spit-roasted duck, plated with charred onions, dates and shaved tokyo turnip.
The duck was very lean, with a thin, soft skin, and the flesh was tender and moist throughout. The flavors were subtle, letting the simple succulence of the duck shine.
It is worth the visit also - the short rib is served off a giant Flintstone shaped bone, ridiculously tender, with a gorgeously thick layer of black peppercorn that I could not get enough of - I may just be finding myself returning for lunch, where the short rib is served in a sandwich. We'll see if my camera will be able to behold that maddeningly meaty beauty then !
Han's Nonsensical Rating: Shawwwtyy, it's your birthday, you gotta eat that short rib like it's your birthday !
Il Buco Alimentari & Vineria
53 Great Jones Street Manhattan, NY 10012
Note: They take reservations, but very loosely (i.e., seating times will vary from the reservation you make).