How we got started.
The first offspring of il Buco on Bond Street, the Alimentari & Vineria is as much a production outpost of the original – specializing in house-cured meats and home baked breads – as it is a casual dining experience in its own right. Here at the original site of the Great Jones Lumber Supply, Donna Lennard set out to fulfill a dream of the last 18 years.
Art gallerist, David Zwirner came on board to launch the project, and Antonello and Lorenzo Radi – Donna’s friends and collaborators from Umbria – handpicked the Italian pieces to round out the aesthetic with designers Ian McPheely and Christian Garnett of Grayling Design.
The recuperated joists from the original structure were incorporated into the design: bar paneling, banquette benches, tables, and even the cutting boards used to serve the salumi platters. Traces of the original lumber yard graffiti are still visible on the brick walls, and a plethora of Italian antique furniture, tiles and ceramic ware are juxtaposed against modern artisan steel and zinc touches.
Chef Justin Smillie (Barbuto, the Standard) put together a stellar team to run the rustic Italian kitchen which harkens back to Italian trattoria fare with a casual ease that keeps the room buzzing from morning to night. Chef Christopher Lee (Chez Panisse, Eccolo) flew in from Berkeley, CA to man the salumi program with longtime salumi veteran, Bernardo Flores. Kamel Saci, an artisan baker from Bordeaux arrived to make his delectable artisan breads with Keren Weiner (Chanterelle, Gramercy Tavern) running the pastry/gelato program.
Artist friend Warren Muller – whose studio was once the site of the original il Buco - built one of his whimsical chandeliers to hang in the open atrium and sculptor/jewelry designer, Jill Platner added a final touch with a steel sculpture over the upstairs roof garden.