At this comfortable offshoot of Il Buco on Bond Street, it might be unfairly said that Chef Justin Smillie’s brief is to mess as little as possible with mega-star ingredients. It seems that way when you dig into this beautiful house-made ricotta appetizer, which Il Buco owner Donna Lennard says is her own favorite dish in the house. Battenkill Valley Creamery’s whole cow’s milk and rennet are mixed and hung to dry for 10 hours, resulting in a rich, creamy and supremely fresh-tasting cheese. Then it’s just a matter of adding a wreath of spring green fava beans and salted anchovies from the Sicilian producer Scalia. With some oregano, pepper, a few strands of Meyer lemon zest and a splash of Agazan olive oil (imported from Umbria and available at Il Buco’s retail store up front), the dish is done. The ingredients are top-notch, and although Smillie’s hand is light, it’s still there, quiet and assured.
Editor’s PickNancy Matsumoto | May 04, 2012