In pursuit of flavors, I found myself a few days ago at, in this order, Il Buco di Alimentari, Betony, Esca, and Second Avenue Deli, and then, in between, at Murray’s, Zabar’s, and Citarella.
Il Buco is becoming my Go To Italian in town that, along with Locanda Verde, offers simple, delicious food. Unlike Locanda, the scene is less Wall Street and more East Village: Same beautiful clothing and same deep pockets, but less noise and less Don’t You Know Who I Think I Am.
Betony is a marvel. Brilliant food, understated, ingredient driven, in a beautiful and romantic room, with very tentative service that can only get better.
Esca is my favorite restaurant in the city. We’re talking extra fatty big eye tartare, house cured salmon roe, and pasta tossed with sardines and walnuts. Hello? Could it be any better? Hoping to take the chef to Japan soon. We shall see.
Second Avenue is just old school pastrami & corned beef on rye with Cel-Ray. Shows you that this food is never as easy to prepare as 99% of the delis that serve it think it is. Truly the best on earth.
Meanwhile, here in the Bean, I’m surviving on the supplies hauled North: Lemon sole, poppy bagels, four kinds of salmon (belly, Nova, Scotch, pastrami style), agnoletti, and ravioli. Raj gin out, but seriously? Do we need more burgers and pizza?