il Buco Alimentari e Vineria

53 Great Jones St. New York, NY 10012 • (212) 837-2622 • ilbucovineria.com

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This is a tough review for me to write, because I was treated by a dear friend and fellow foodie. But, if I start letting things like that influence me, then I wouldn’t exactly be a Ferocious Foodie, now would I? So, hopefully he understands, but I’m guessing next time will be my treat. 😉

So, here it goes… Not unlike its sibling Alimentari is a great looker. Quaint and charming. But as we all know, looks aren’t everything. And once again I found myself wondering why so many other reviewers keep touting this franchise. Maybe it’s me?

This is not to say that we are in diametrically opposed camps. I mean, it’s not like the place is terrible by any stretch. But it’s not exactly amazing either.

For starters, we had the crispy artichokes, which are good. Served crispy, just like the description says. But yet something held them back from amazing. Under-seasoned would be my main guess. That, or simply not the freshest, most incredible ingredient to start with, enough that it could stand on its own.

As for the bucatini, this was a bit more obvious. It was blatantly undercooked. Not al dente. More like Undercookede. That said, I very much enjoyed the peppery prep. But because it was so hard and chewy I couldn’t get on board the love train.

Next came the sandwiches of which we split two, the short rib and the porchetta. The short rib was the clear winner. A very solid good with its caramelized onions and tender beefiness. But it pales in comparison to the steak sammy at BLT Steak.

And speaking of paling, the porchetta is so far beneath my Ultimate (Rocket Pig) I wouldn’t even bother. That said, the kale sandwich passed by our table and I found myself wishing we had gotten that instead. Not a very good sign for porchetta, either that or a great sign for kale.

Anyways, the point is still the point and that point is Alimentari is very elementary. Meaning basic. Meaning basically skip it.

2 teeth

L & W Oyster Co.

254 5th Ave. New York, NY 10001(212) 203-7772 • landwoyster.com

oyster-bar

I literally hate writing this review, because the more praise this place gets, the harder it’s going to be to get in.

But, I have to give credit where credit is due, and man is it due. LOVE this place (hard to believe it’s related to Almond, which is an ugly step sister compared to to L&W). The decor is quaint, yet contemporary. Fun, with a touch of cool. Service is usually great. And the Lobster BLT is insanely good. Possibly the best sandwich in the area, and that’s saying a lot with so many great sammys in the Flatiron. I think it’s the Sriracha. The Short Rib sandwich is also good, but only with addition of hot sauce. Otherwise it falls far shorter to its lobster brethren. Too much of one note. Oh- and even the little side of mustardy cous cous with dried cranberries is excellent.

On other visits I have to say they do some pretty incredible salads as well. Like their fried oyster salad and an inventive take on a Caesar, using frisee and brussel sprouts as opposed to romaine- just awesome.

They also do a great job of serving up some wonderfully fresh raw oysters. And at dinner they have a killer octopus app with saffron that I highly recommend.

The beer on tap is solid. Granted a small selection, but solid nonetheless.

The only hiccup they have going is dessert. The apple cobbler is soggy- zero crunch, which is a cobbler must IMO. And the chocolate brownie was just eh, quite literally Pret’s brownie blows it away. That said, at dinner they fare much better. The sorbet and sticky toffee cake are both pretty good, but they are still not at the level of everything else.

So close to five knives, but my advice to you, skip dessert and you’ll be VERY happy. My advice to L&W, hire a new dessert chef.

4 teeth