Chef Smillie, who oversaw the kitchen when I last visited, has moved on to his own (Stephen Starr-sponsored) place, and I haven’t been back since, but my last meal (sometime in 2014) at il Buco Alimentari was delicious. Some of the dishes are now making an appearance at Chef Smilie’s new spot, so all is not lost.
Spaghetti with shaved bottarga (salted, cured roe). Mushroom gnocchi. Roasted chicken with Brussels sprouts. Short rib for two. This beast of bovine greatness is gigantic, tenderly delicious, mixing fat and collagen and lovingly slow-cooked, with its pepper-crusted glory, balanced with chewy green olives and lemon. Roasted carrots with salsa verde.If the kitchen at il Buco Alimentari still carries this kind of torch, it’s still worth visiting.