A TASTE OF THE ISLAND: Il Buco
The Grand Beauty of food, travel, love and life at Il Buco
Slowly, surely and rhythmically with a firm yet gentle hand I watch in a trance as the rolling pin travels back and forth, unfurling the gold flecked pastry from beneath it.
“It’s ok I like to be watched” The spell is broken suddenly. I have come to Il Buco to talk about the festive menus and instead have found myself hypnotised secretly watching Chef Guido begin preparations for the magical Cappelletti pasta stuffed with three different meats including veal, turkey, prosciutto do Parma and “ a lot of parmiggiano reggiano”, which will be served on Christmas Day.
Busted, I take a seat and start asking questions about the menu, still feeling the warmth of being caught. I want to know more about the Christmas Eve Feast of Seven Fishes but by now I’m curious about the man who makes pasta as if he were making a delicate sculpture.
Il Buco has become the new locals’ local in the village of Santa Gertrudis. Ask anyone who has been greeted by the incredibly gregarious and warm staff, or devoured it’s focaccia, baked freshly with an ancient Sicilian grain and topped with seasonal delights such as pumpkin, salsiccia, spinach and grana padano. And all will enthuse about how it has become their favourite place to eat, drink, hang and feel part of something familiar.
This feeling of familiarity and warmth runs deep and can be traced back to 1994 when owners Donna Lennard, and her then Italian partner Alberto Avalle, opened an
antiques store and began to invite customers for “pranzo”. Tales of the food and ambience spread throughout New York and thus Il Buco was born.
Compatriots from Foligno a town in Umbria, Chef Guido and Avalle shared the same joy of aesthetics and passion towards simple, yet locally sourced foods. Together with Donna and her nephew Danny at the helm, opened up a branch of Il Buco here on the island.
"It’s not possible to escape being touched by the simple yet la grande bellezza of the mouthwatering food and the chic interiors seeped in vintage Italian heritage, it is an alluring sensory experience."
Introduced to generation old recipes by his Grandmother, as a child Guido became the grand taster of family recipes, the one who got to lick the sticky sweet spoon, and alongside his Grandfather worked the land. Guido took this “gift” and sought to honour and develop it further by training as a Chef. As I sit at the table here in Il Buco I drink in all there is to know about Guido’s travels around the world, and his insatiable desire or “awakening of the senses” as he describes the process of discovering different world cuisines with the passion and devotion of an anthropologist. Japanese Kombu and Seaweed salad make an appearance on the festive menu and are part of the mystical alchemy of tastes and flavours bought into Il Buco by Guido and Avalle, as are the more traditional Italian dishes such as Umbrian truffle, langoustine and carnaroli and lest we forget, the artisan Panettone, to end your night of gastronomic seduction with.
Everything at Il Buco is literally served with lashings of love fuelled from travels, and recipes that may have started life in Italy and then took a serendipitous crossing to New York, Japan, Holland and beyond. Finally landing on our very own special island of Ibiza.
It’s not possible to escape being touched by the simple yet la grande bellezza of the mouthwatering food and the chic interiors seeped in vintage Italian heritage, it is an alluring sensory experience. And then there is the beautiful Il Buco team who will at once greet you as if you were a returning member of the family, so warmly that whether or not you have crossed the doorstep previously, you will immediately feel at home.
So be prepared to enjoy the specially curated Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Years’ Day menus at Il Buco over this festive season experiencing for yourself the intoxication of food, drink, love and life, just as I first did the afternoon I witnessed Guido with his rolling pin.
For all bookings please contact Il Buco and let them know you are a friend of The Island Villas.
Bookings firstname.lastname@example.org call +34 971 197 676
Il Buco is open Tuesday-Sunday 10am-10pm
Winter closing January 7th to mid March