At nearly 30 years old, Il Buco is hitting its middle-aged stride. Spawned in 1994 from the dreamy little Italian antique store-turned-restaurant on Bond Street in downtown Manhattan, it’s the passion and downright joy of gathering via Donna Lennard and Alberto Avalle that continues to fuel their love of craft, culture, beauty and the way a thoughtfully chosen meal and how it’s served can be the most charming of meal companions.
When it comes to setting a stunning but inviting table full of texture, color, context and fun, Lennard and Avalle’s Amagansett-based shop, Il Buco Vita, is the go-to for thoroughly unique pieces that will easily become beloved but usable keepsakes for gathering family and friends, part of the moments and memories of our most important bread-breaking celebrations. Come together around this beautiful tablescape and create your very own bella vita on the South Fork.
1. La Riccia “Winged Goddess” decanter, $495. Made from recycled glass that’s melted down and reblown, it’s a big splurge but this no-mold, free-form unique glass piece is a true artisan work that’s sure to create conversation at the table. Hand wash.
2. Maremma goblet, $120 each. The price points to precious, but these tulip-top free-form goblets, also made from recycled and reblown glass, are surprisingly sturdy (and dishwasher safe), with a just-right weight when held in your hand.
3. Montegranaro blue splatterware pasta dish, $48. Each gorgeous yet whimsical hand-glazed terra-cotta bowl is a little different from the next, making any set — be it for two or 10 — completely unique.
4. Urbino tall candle holder, $70. Each wrought-iron piece is a little different, sporting its own special patina and texture.
5. Collepino standard double-wick twisted beeswax candles, $28 each. Using pure Umbrian beeswax, these twisty, handmade artisan candles are made per instructions dating back to the Middle Ages.
6. Terracotta sardine, $95. Each piece is individually handmade in Umbria by Il Buco Vita co-founder Antonello Radi. Scatter them on your table for a fun bit of ocean creature whimsy or — for the more practical among us — as a sassy sea-centric utensil rest.
7. Pienza rice pattern tumbler, $36. Shown here in smoke gray (also available in olive green, clear and pale blue), these glasses are handmade in Tuscany by a brother-sister team whose family has been making glassware for centuries.
8. Sabre Paris utensils. $102/five-piece set. A short departure from the Italian-sourced goods at Il Buco, this Parisian-made flatware comes in a patinated steel finish with four color options: marine-grade teak (seen here), which is dishwasher safe, and olive green, black or ivory acrylic.
9. Arcolaio napkins, $30 each. When you touch these tightly woven, super-soft linen napkins, you’ll wish you could have an entire wardrobe made from them. Shown here in navy, wash by hand (or on delicate in the machine in a mesh laundry bag) and air dry.
10. Belvedere placemat, $30. They look delicate, but their tight weave allows them to hold their shape and look great year after year. Shown here in classic white.
11. Assisi flat dinner plate, $105. The black Umbrian clay used here is particularly dense, and these heirloom-quality dishes are made to last for the ages. Hand-formed and -glazed, they’re dishwasher safe and come in ocra (seen here) and four other colors.
12. Montegranaro green splatterware oil and salt dish set, $52. Just introduced into Il Buco for summer 2023, the splatter pattern is an homage to traditional Pugliese ceramics.
13. Il Buco fino Sicilian sea salt. $8. The perfect seasoning for everything from meats to salads. For tabletop, serve in individual bowls or straight from the cute flip-top jar.
14. Il Buco Moraiolo Umbrian olive oil, $47 for 500ml. When local veg and fruits are at their freshest, they can handle this pungent product of Foligno olives, but it’s especially good drizzled on grilled food.