There's no denying it — Italians have a way with food. Donna Lennard, the restaurateur behind New York City's beloved Il Buco and Il Buco Alimentari e Vineria, showcases a selection of handmade Italian homewares and antiques in a charming second-floor showroom in NoHo called Il Buco Vita. The rustic space has a transportive quality that instantly takes you from the busy streets of NYC to a beautiful home in the Italian countryside. We asked Lennard to share a collection of her favorite Italian-made dishes, glassware, and textiles, so you can create a masterpiece of a dinner party.
Most people link me with my two New York City restaurants, and , but my hidden passion is , my home line housed on the second floor loft space two doors down from my original restaurant. Vita brings the Il Buco concept full circle, by focusing on the decor that has made my restaurants so inviting. The idea germinated more than 15 years ago in Umbria, my second home, in the small village of Bevagna. Over several evenings of shared food and wine, my dear Umbrian friends, Antonello and Lorenzo Radi, cousins and cronies of my original partner Alberto Avalle, suggested we design a line based on the country's artisan crafts that were losing their hold in the name of mass market brands. Vita harkens back to the early days when Alberto and I collected antiques, buying only what we loved and what touched our personal sensibility. Thus, Il Buco Vita is filled with all of the unique pieces that inspire me to invite friends to my table, share in a meal, and create a meaningful moment.
For those times when you're gathering with friends and family around the dinner table, here are a few essential pieces for a beautiful Italian table setting.