Gallery: Il Buco Alimentari & Vineria: An Ingredient-Driven Italian Restaurant That's A Cut Above

Fried Rabbit ($15)
Fried Rabbit ($15)
Crisp and juicy, it's a little leaner and more delicate than fried chicken, with a salty, pepper-flecked crust drizzled and a touch of sweet honey and lemon juice.
Crispy Artichokes ($12)
Crispy Artichokes ($12)
Evidence of their fry cook's skills continue with crisp, grease-free baby artichokes scented with a hint of preserved lemon. We like the frizzled tender leaves at the top of the choke best—all the better for catching bits of salt, herbs, and lemon juice.
Grilled Sausage ($14)
Grilled Sausage ($14)
The large pork sausage was packed with flavor, but the texture ran a little on the mealy side—a common shortcoming of housemade sausages. As a flavoring for the creamy lentils scented with fried sage and onions, though, it worked well enough.
Octopus A La Plancha ($18)
Octopus A La Plancha ($18)
Octopus legs are braised until tender, then finished on a hot grill, giving the briny meat a crisp, lightly bitter char. Its rich smokiness is complemented by a big spoonful of chickpeas dressed in some fine olive oil. That vinegary fruity note you're getting? Pickled currants.
Roasted Lamb Ribs ($16)
Roasted Lamb Ribs ($16)
A plate of fatty, oozing, and salty roasted lamb rib bones comes with a simple drizzle of olive oil and a peppery romesco sauce. This used to be the part of the lamb that cooks saved for themselves. Secret's out now.
Insalata Di Cicoria ($14)
Insalata Di Cicoria ($14)
A hearty salad of bitter chicories stays fresh and crisp in a light, vinegary dressing, the crunch accented with a handful of bread crumbs.
Paccheri ($21)
Paccheri ($21)
Thick tubes of hand-made pasta come served with a juicy ragĂș of oxtail and vegetables with braised greens and fat shavings of Parmigiano-Reggiano. It's the heartiest pasta on the menu and requires a sopping device for the juices left behind.
Roasted Chicken and Chickpea Soup with Kale
Roasted Chicken and Chickpea Soup with Kale
Two of our favorite vegetables (kale and chickpeas) in one of our favorite forms of food (soup) is the ideal light lunch. The broth packs a remarkable hit of flavor—enough that it's not dominated by the generous shaving of Parmigiano-Reggiano it gets on top before serving.
Spaghetti ($21)
Spaghetti ($21)
A plate of spaghetti tossed with a briny bottarga-based sauce that gently coats each strand in a savory funk. It's a textbook example of the Italian recipe for great food: A few simple ingredients of the highest quality, combined with balance and restraint.
Risotto ($16)
Risotto ($16)
One of the most ethereally light and flavorful plates of risotto we've had. The creamy vialone nano rice retains a perfect al dente core and comes with a seasonally rotating flavor. In this case, it's Swiss chard with lemon zest, the latter lightening the dish even further.
Slow Roasted Short Rib Panini
Slow Roasted Short Rib Panini
Holy hunk of beef, how the hell is one meant to eat this sandwich? A beast of a panino, the inch-think slab of slow-roasted short rib is insanely rich; the copious amount of melted gorgonzola only boosts it.

Il Buco Alimentari & Vineria: 53 Great Jones Street, New York, NY 10012 (map); 212-837-2622; ilbucovineria.com

[Photograph: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt]

Tuscan Kale Panini ($13)
Tuscan Kale Panini ($13)
We've been seeing kale sandwiches pop up all over the place (we even have our own take on it). It's a trend we'd like to see continue. Tender and juicy braised kale makes a fine sandwich filling, especially when covered in melted stracciatella and a hint of anchovy.
Gelati E Sorbetti ($9)
Gelati E Sorbetti ($9)
Is this the best gelato in the city? It's hard to say, but it's certainly in the running. Intense flavors and a perfectly smooth, light, creamy texture without a hint of graininess give them a step up over most of their frozen brethren.
Bicerin ($7)
Bicerin ($7)
Chocolate and espresso come together in this cute dessert modeled after a cup of cappuccino. It straddles the line between decadent and light rather nicely. We liked dipping the chocolate wafers into the whipped mascarpone.
Roasted Pear ($8)
Roasted Pear ($8)
A perfectly roasted pear glazed with caramel is paired with a mildly tart buttermilk ice cream, perched on a mound of corn-y semolina crumble.