Il Buco’s annual Sagra del Maiale festival (pig party to us Americans) runs Thursday from 1 to 6 p.m., and it kills us that we can’t go. The restaurant, which has always been a source of ingredient-driven Italian food, has taken its aesthetic up a notch under chef Ignacio Mattos’ watch. The pigfest is perfectly symbolic of that — it’s not just whole hog, but Ossabaw pork from an island off Georgia. It’s one of the most intensely flavorful pigs in the world, with a taste reminiscent of Spanish Ibérico hogs, wild boars, the sound of rushing water, first kisses in prehistoric South American jungles, and your first pork chop. The menu, which includes barbecued pork, Ossabaw panini, ricotta fritters, farmer's-market panzanella, and wild arugula with lemon, red onion, and Pecorino, is a paltry $20 a plate. Do what you can to get there; it looks to be pretty special.
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