Yes, it’s been a long time. So long, in fact, that we forgot to take a picture of the outside of the restaurant.
That’s okay. For Il Buco Alimentari, it is really the inside and the amazing food that counts!
This was a bad day for Fork. One of those days where words cannot be spoken until alcohol is consumed. Quickly, a cocktail menu. So many choices, so much alcohol needed. Wait! What’s this? A Timo. Prosecco, Vergano Moscato Vermouth and fresh grapefruit. It was perfect. SLightly sweet, slightly tart, and bubbly.
As the badness of the day emptied while Fork emptied the Timo glass, our lovely waitress Christi brought us bread, olive oil and salt. Really, does life get any better than that?
Fork: “I am in a really bad mood. I don’t care what you order. Just do all the ordering please.”
Spoon: “Okay. I thought the cured meats looked good.”
Fork: “Okay. But, the artichokes. We have to have the artichokes. Oh, and the porchetta. And if we’re having porchetta then we should have the Bucatini Cacio e Pepe and not Gricia.”
Spoon: “well, since you don’t want to order …”
Amazing what a drink and bread can do for one’s mood!
Since our adventure to Rome last spring, Fork and Spoon have been in search of wonderful Roman style restaurants in the City. Il Buco Alimentari is one of these places.
We started with Fried Artichokes. Who can resist fried artichokes? These were small and delicate and crispy. The insides were still tender. The preserved lemon gave them just the right hit of acidity. A little salt and you were good to go. It’s amazing we were able to snap a photo of these before they were inhaled.
We asked Christi which of the Salumi della Casa she would recommend. She suggested the assorted plate for two. Perfect. A little bit of everything! Some of the meats are made and cured in house and some are from outside sources. They were all amazing. Each unique, but each delicious.
You simply cannot eat in a Roman restaurant without having Pasta Cacio e Pepe. So simple. So delicious. Cheese and pepper. Perfect. We thought the portion a little on the skimpy side, but we still had a long way to go, so it was really okay – this time! Fork and Spoon were reaching for a little bit of bread to soak up the cheese and pepper on the bottom of the bowl when this manager-type person swooped in from NOWHERE and snatched the bowl off the table. WITH. OUT. ASKING if we were done. Sigh.
Next up – and one of the dishes we can never resist – Porchetta alla Romana. The meat was tender and very flavorful. It was served with shaved fennel, blood orange and mustard greens. We could have lived without the mustard greens. They really don’t add anything here. There were two teeny tiny slices of blood orange on the plate. The shaved fennel was perfect with the porchetta. The cracklings on top. Oh, the cracklings. Does anything really need to be said about cracklings? Nope. And over the shattering of the cracklings you couldn’t have heard us anyway!
When we ordered the Porchetta, Christi mentioned that the dish came without any sort of side and would we like to order something. One quick glance at the menu and we were done. Crispy Polenta. WHat this meant we had no idea, but it was crispy and it was polenta. What arrived were small abstract cubes of polenta, deep fried with shavings of parmigiano on the top. Not necessarily a great side to the delicate Porchetta, but a great side just the same! This would be great as an appetizer with some wine or prosecco.
You would think we would have been stuffed by now, but meal does not go by without dessert. It must be done. The roasted pear with semolina crumble and creme fraiche gelato was just too intriguing to pass up. The pear was amazing. Tender, sweet and gooey. Perfect with the tang from the creme fraiche gelato.
It’s a little crowded, the tables a little toooooo close together (and no one moves them for you), and VERY noisy, but once you start eating, all of this melts away and you are just being treated to fabulous cuisine.
With the exception of the thievery of our pasta bowl, this meal was amazing. And definite must try and for us a definite must go back to!