Noho's Il Buco is a destination for romance and long evenings.
Conversely, Il Buco's new sister spot, Il Buco Alimentari and Vineria, takes a lighter tack.
The former lumber warehouse was recently transformed into a daytime market and sandwich shop. Now, the back half has debuted a commanding breakfast, lunch and dinner service.
At the moment, the kitchen is carrying on a winter love affair with kale and bottarga. The curly green is suspended in a restorative soup of farro, meaty chickpeas and poultry broth ($13); it's also layered into house-baked bread with straciatella cheese and anchovies ($13).
Pressed mullet bottarga, both delightfully saline and tacky, is found tossed with spaghetti ($20) and shaved in strips on a sandwich of celery, radishes and cold butter ($16).
In the belowground production kitchen, rabbit meets salt for a day and a half, and the seasoning reaches all the way to the bone. The rabbit is then marinated in crème fraîche, sage, rosemary and thyme, fried and dusted in a blizzard of semolina and honey ($15).
Salt slowly works its wonders on other meats too; in 12 to 18 months, the kitchen will unveil prosciutto. While you wait for it, try the marble-white curls of lardo ($10)--which we deem appropriate for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Il Buco Alimentari and Vineria, 53 Great Jones St. (between the Bowery and Lafayette St.); 212-837-2622 or ilbucovineria.com
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