Reading: Il Buco Review – The Hype is NOT Real

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Rating: 7.8

After my less than pleasant experience at Il Buco Alimentari & Vineria, I decided to give the Il Buco family another shot last night.  I’ve been told that Il Buco is better than the Alimentari & Vineria, so I thought it was only fair to try them both out.

Il Buco was definitely a leg up from their casual counterpart, but by no means was it a vast improvement.

GambasI loved the vibe here and the service was great — no 30+ minute wait for a table — but the problem I had here was with the food.  If you’re going to charge $19 for an appetizer, don’t serve me a plate of four pan-fried shrimp sprinkled with coarse sea salt and expect me to be happy. The fact that they are Hawaiian King Prawns means nothing to me. How could anyone be impressed with that?

We also ordered the Asparagi e Uovo, grilled and shaved asparagus topped with a  poached farm egg. While this sounds like a lovely plate in theory, especially for those obsessing over the “put an egg on it” trend, the dish sadly did not live up to my expectations.  It was simply unmemorable and underdeveloped–there was nothing savory about it. I’ll throw them a bone for nice egg-poaching work.

All in all, I suppose the Il Buco family is not for me. It shouldn’t be for you either unless you plan on spending $100 on sharable plates you could easily prepare at home.


Side Note:  I checked out the menu again and couldn’t find one dish that incorporates tomatoes. Although Il Buco technically calls itself a Mediterranean restaurant — which arguably makes it more bizarre — I still cannot get over the fact that there are no tomatoes to be found on the menu.