Meeting my boyfriend’s parents for the first time was nerve-wracking, but it was also dope because they took us out for dinner at Buca Yorkville (I was sooo grateful!!), a newly-opened “seafood-centric” Italian restaurant affiliated with the other iconic Buca restaurants – Buca on King and Bar Buca. Though I’ve never been to either, they’ve been extremely talked up by ma boo (who’s a chef so he’s into this shit) so I was so excited to try Buca Yorkville, especially since I adore seafood!
When we walked in, the first thing I noticed was the decor of the restaurant. It was really simplistic but beautiful, with very minimalist yet thoughtful details. The restaurant featured a large open kitchen, where you could watch the chefs (there were a lot of them!) at work.
Our server was amazing as well – he was so on top of his shit and knew so much about the dishes, their ingredients, and the process. He gave really thoughtful suggestions and provided a lot more insight about the menu.
The first thing we ordered I unfortunately do not have a photo of (I felt so extra taking pics of my meal in front of his parents LOL). It was the Nodini, rosemary bread knots with olive oil and garlic, and lemme tell you ohhh my goodness they were AMAZING. I might even be shameless enough to go to Buca Yorkville in the future just to get an order of those (or 2 or 3) and a cocktail or something. They tasted like they came straight from the oven, and were soo buttery and rich.
Next, we got the Salumi di Mare, a selection of cured fish that was so unique! One of my favorite things to get are charcuterie boards, and I’ve never really tried selections with cured fish, so it was so interesting to try five different types of seafood salumi, something Buca Yorkville is well known for. We tried the Soppressata di Tonno (spicy pork fat & tuna bloodline salami) and Soppressata di Polipo (octopus salami, preserved lemon) for sure. The one with the green bits was a shrimp and pistachio, while the middle one was a very flavorful and dry fish. The board was served with black bread dumplings which were so unique and great to pair with the board, as well as tart and crisp picked onions.
For my main, I ordered the POLIPO E VONGOLE – braised octopus, b.c. clams, bone marrow, cavolo nero, crisp artichoke, fregola sarda. It was super rich but super tasty, and the bone marrow really added a unique flavor to it.
Jake ordered the RAVIOLI – Alaskan king crab stuffed pasta, pea tendrils, brodo di mare. Though I didn’t get to try much of it, what I had was amazing!
For dessert, I ordered their lavender gelato, which came with a warm little puffy bread thing. I loved it so much – one of my favorite things to eat is hot / cold pairings for some reason. This dessert was Jake’s order (he’s a huge fiend for sweets lol), the PIZZELLE – crisp abruzzese waffles, chestnut ganache, whipped cream, and crema inglese. It was so rich and delicious, and was served with the cream poured in front of you. As if you needed to get more excited about dessert.
Something else I wanted to mention was the sugar that came with coffee – they have this amazing espresso-infused whipped sugar that you can put in your coffee. It’s extremely sweet but also quite bitter from the espresso flavor. I could honestly eat it on its own, but its so rich that only a tiny spoonful would make a huge difference in a cup of coffee.
Overall, I thought this restaurant was awesome. Amazing service, presentation, decor, and food. Next on my list is to try their more casual snack bar experience, Bar Buca!