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Il Buco Alimentari e Vineria


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But SD26 doesn't make you feel like you're eating in Italy.

Il Buco A&V serves a Paccheri with braised oxtail, greens, and parmigiano. I had it on Monday.

 

Bar Boulud serves a Cavatelli with lamb ragout, olives, tomato confit, eggplant, and pecorino. I had it yesterday.

 

Both make their pasta in-house. The two dishes are obviously not identical, but there is a considerable similarity. Bar Boulud's was better in every way: cooked to the right temperature, fresher, better texture, more tasty.

 

That is all.

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The paccheri at Il Buco is not made in house.They sell it retail,or did,before the riots began after 3 stars-'Gentile',from Napoli is the brand-I bought some,loving paccheri,but this pasta is most vexing to cook;2 tries for 16 minutes,and it still is a little too thick and chewy,maybe just not meant for my taste.

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The paccheri at Il Buco is not made in house.They sell it retail,or did,before the riots began after 3 stars-'Gentile',from Napoli is the brand-I bought some,loving paccheri,but this pasta is most vexing to cook;2 tries for 16 minutes,and it still is a little too thick and chewy,maybe just not meant for my taste.

The printed menu, of which I took a copy, claimed it was house made. Perhaps they sell a different product to retail customers. I did find that it was too chewy. Much like Pete Wells at Roberta's, I have no idea if that was a bug or a feature, but I didn't like it.

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The printed menu, of which I took a copy, claimed it was house made. Perhaps they sell a different product to retail customers. I did find that it was too chewy. Much like Pete Wells at Roberta's, I have no idea if that was a bug or a feature, but I didn't like it.

 

Not just house made, house extruded iirc.

 

By the way, I was recently told by a self proclaimed pasta authority that extruding pasta was a bad idea unless you use imported flour, as US flour is malted (?) and the resulting texture is no good. I don't know if that's true and/or if they use imported flour (which would make the entire exercise silly), maybe some knowledgeable MFers can shed light on this.

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He says it "occasionally serving food on par with very good two-star restaurants..." He was unlucky on the porchetta - unrendered fat. The version I ate certainly didn't have that problem. But yes, you need consistency at those prices.

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The place is simply overwhelmed. Our first course, which didn’t arrive until our second course was underway, was Iberico ham. The $40 serving tasted precisely like the Iberico at Tertulia, a more ambitious Spanish spot, where it costs $23.

Yes, it is. But you know, Ryan, there's no freakin' way Tertulia is serving you as much Iberico as IBA for $23 unless they're trying to go out of business, just no way.

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I think it would have been fair for Ryan Sutton to note that the place is swamped for the very precise reason that it received an absurd overrating from Pete Wells in the Times. Almost all Sutton's complaints (everything but the underrendered porchetta fat (and the prices)) would melt away if the place weren't so crowded (and I'll bet he wouldn't complain about the prices if service and ambiance were better). The several times I went to IBA, before Wells's review, I really liked it. The food was, as he says, two-star (in the one-star-on-steroids sense). The service (at the bar) was excellent. And the place, when nearly but not quite empty, is quite pleasant and not at all uncomfortable.

In other words, I think everything Ryan Sutton found wrong with IBA isn't IBA's fault. It's Pete Wells's fault. IBA didn't ask for this. What should they do, now that they're somehow a NYT three-star restaurant? Close? Triple their prices to deter custom?

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And I'm not just saying that because the ham is so expensive, but also because I watched the under-trained assistant-deli-guy struggle with slicing enough for a portion for a very long time. Just the wages were $5 laugh.gif

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I think it would have been fair for Ryan Sutton to note that the place is swamped for the very precise reason that it received an absurd overrating from Pete Wells in the Times. Almost all Sutton's complaints (everything but the underrendered porchetta fat (and the prices) would melt away if the place weren't so crowded (and I'll bet he wouldn't complain about the prices if service and ambiance were better). The several times I went to IBA, before Wells's review, I really liked it. The food was, as he says, two-star (in the one-star-on-steroids sense). The service (at the bar) was excellent. And the place, when nearly but not quite empty, is quite pleasant and not at all uncomfortable.

 

In other words, I think everything Ryan Sutton found wrong with IBA isn't IBA's fault. It's Pete Wells's fault. IBA didn't ask for this. What should they do, now that they're somehow a NYT three-star restaurant? Close? Triple their prices to deter custom?

 

I should add that 1-1/2* isn't a crazy rating. It's just the negativity of his text that rankles. It's so obvious what's at fault there.

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There are plenty of places that didn't get three stars, where the service nevertheless sucks.(*) There is some justification for reviewing what it is, not what it might have been without Wells pouring gasoline on the fire.

 

(*)It didn't actually suck on either of my two visits, but both times I went at 6pm and sat at the bar, before it had filled up.

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I think it would have been fair for Ryan Sutton to note that the place is swamped for the very precise reason that it received an absurd overrating from Pete Wells in the Times. Almost all Sutton's complaints (everything but the underrendered porchetta fat (and the prices) would melt away if the place weren't so crowded (and I'll bet he wouldn't complain about the prices if service and ambiance were better). The several times I went to IBA, before Wells's review, I really liked it. The food was, as he says, two-star (in the one-star-on-steroids sense). The service (at the bar) was excellent. And the place, when nearly but not quite empty, is quite pleasant and not at all uncomfortable.

 

In other words, I think everything Ryan Sutton found wrong with IBA isn't IBA's fault. It's Pete Wells's fault. IBA didn't ask for this. What should they do, now that they're somehow a NYT three-star restaurant? Close? Triple their prices to deter custom?

I understand what you're saying but to say it's not IBA's fault is a little silly. Every restaurant would dream of being fully booked. You need to be able to deal with success and learn how to handle the demand, whether it's turning people away, hiring more competent people, etc.

 

Think about your work -- if you suddenly had 2 times over capacity of potential clients all wanting some Sneak hours and you took them all on and failed, whose fault would it be? Yours or some profile of you in the Times which brought the new clients?

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