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  • Shivani Vora

Local Businesses: Il Buco al Mare

Photos courtesy of: Il Buco al Mare

Any plugged-in New Yorker knows about Il Buco, the Italian restaurant on Bond Street that’s been around since 1994 and was an instant hit with both everyday city dwellers as well as celebrities. Independent filmmaker Donna Lennard and her then Italian partner, Alberto Avalle, opened the spot, and its popularity continues today.

It’s not hard to see why: as someone who has dined at Il Buco frequently over the years, I can tell you that the food is simple but always delicious. The dishes change frequently depending on what’s in season, but you know you’re going to be in for a good meal.

Now, Il Buco is expanding its footprint with Il Buco al Mare, which opened this month on Amagansett’s Main Street. The name gives a clue into the concept: Lennard, who is the sole proprietor, is focusing this Il Buco iteration on seafood, most of it local and presented in a casual but warm setting.

The menu includes tinned fish from the Iberian Peninsula and Italy and woodfired preparations of local crustaceans and meats such as a grilled whole mackerel with lima beans and radishes and a smoked chicken with cilantro pesto. The sides and small plates are just as appealing as the entrees: there’s the healthy-ish salad of local gem lettuce with apricot, ginger and buckwheat and asparagus with bottarga.

Given the original Il Buco’s following, al Mare is primed to be a hit. The restaurant has already been busy during its first few weeks in business. Longtime customers of Il Buco have come in, but many newcomers are also part of the crowd. I know I’ll be dining whenever I’m in Amagansett, and I recommend that any visitor to the Hamptons book a table too- chances are, you’ll be happy you did!

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