AT HOME WITH VITA is a monthly interview with artists, designers, and friends who inspire us.
This month’s Q&A is with Michael Bargo, an interior decorator, stylist antique dealer who's quickly risen to become one of the most influential young tastemakers on the New York design scene—not to mention the Internet—thanks to his eponymous furniture gallery and Instagram account that boasts nearly 70,000 followers. His eclectic sensibility centers on midcentury French design, championing pieces from the likes of Jean Prouvé, Charlotte Perriand, Jean Royère and other icons of post-war Europe. For the past decade, Bargo has been artfully displaying and selling his expertly curated collection of rare furniture, decor and art directly out of his New York apartment, making him no stranger to entertaining guests in his home. We caught up with him this summer to learn about how he goes about playing host.
Describe your entertaining style. Michael Bargo: My style is very relaxed and casual. I grew up in the south and was taught that manners are to make everyone feel comfortable and welcome, so that’s my first priority. I think my aesthetic reflects that too. I don’t like anything formal that would make someone feel uncomfortable. I also want people to feel happy so I usually use bright colors and happy flowers.
Who has influenced your entertaining style? MB: My maternal grandmother, Martha Stewart and Jacques Grange.
Where do you seek aesthetic and menu inspiration? MB: Il Buco! Where else?!
What are your table-setting essentials? MB: Always have small, casual floral centerpieces that don’t overcrowd the table or anyones view. Always soft linens that don’t leave lint on your lap! And always red and white wine, champagne and sparkling and flat water.... Everyone should have what they want to drink!
No Michael Bargo party is complete without: MB: Good lighting. Good music. Good champagne.
Where was the most memorable tablescape you’ve ever seen? MB: A dinner in honor of Francois-Xavier and Claude Lalanne in Paris
What are the signature recipes you serve when entertaining guests? MB: I love serving prosciutto and melon with really cold champagne in the Summer. I also really love serving caviar with potato chips. Basically anything that’s super easy.
Fantasy dinner party guests? Whose home would you love to be invited to, and who love to have as a guest in your own home? MB: I’d like to go to the White House for dinner. And to my home I’d love to have Amy Sedaris!
Who features heavily on your entertaining playlist? MB: My friend Trevor Cheney makes the best playlists on Spotify. Those are the easiest and best lists to play at a dinner party.
Any tips on how to transform a space into an inviting environment for entertaining guests? MB: As long as everything is comfortable and relaxed it’ll be inviting!
What are the keys to a perfect summer dinner party? MB: Cold water, cold champagne and blankets on the lawn.
Guest Chef Dinner with Naomi Pomeroy, Monday April 30th
Acclaimed James Beard Chef Naomi Pomeroy is teaming up with Garrison Price of il Buco Alimentari for one special evening. Join us in welcoming the long awaited Spring with their celebratory five-course menu.
Monday, April 30th 5 Courses, $95.00 per person
Call or email to book your table firstname.lastname@example.org (212) 837 - 2622
MENU: Fluke & Japanese Scallop Crudo herb marinated artichokes with olio nuovo
It’s his fondness for “odd characters,” for wines wrongly disregarded elsewhere but thankfully found here, for the kind of conversations launched by a first sip of something you didn’t know existed just a minute ago. “I love the catch of the day, things that fall into your net while you’re fishing for something else,” he says. Helpfully, to those of us with unquenchable curiosity, Paris makes some of those catches especially handy: on his list there is an extensive selection of Italian wines poured one glass at a time.
Now available for online purchase are products from the Alimentari! Check out our recipe sets, featuring pastas, imported sauces, and il Buco’s signature essentials: olive oil, vinegar, and salt. Shop the Alimentari online
Try il Buco's new Summer market lunch, a perfect option for a quick meal in the middle of a busy work week. Executive Chef Roger Martinez has created a three course tasting menu priced at $35 per person. Available Monday - Friday, 12pm-4pm. Walk-ins welcome!
Restaurant week starts Monday, July 24th! Stop in for Chef Garrison Price’s three course tasting menu featuring dishes such as Summer Panzanella, Painted Hills skirt steak and a lamb ragout of Sicilian anchovy & fava beans.
July 24th - August 18th $29 Weekday Lunch - $29 Weekend Brunch - $42 Dinner
Come in and try il Buco's new Summer menu! Highlights from Executive Chef Roger Martinez's menu include fiori di zucca, marinated and seared octopus, Spanish mackeral crudo, and Escalivada made with roasted Japanese eggplant, local red pepper, walla walla onion, Cantabrian anchovies.
Alimentari on-the-go packages are now available for purchase! Place your order online and pick up in store within the hour. With a mixed of freshly made Alimentari products and Italian imports these packages are great for picnics, parties, gifting and stocking the kitchen with all the essentials.
From the Cellar: Wine Recommendations by Roberto Paris
Back from his Argentinian holiday Sommelier, Roberto Paris, recommends the Pinot Noir from Bodegas Chacra of Patagonia.
In 2004 long time il Buco friend and reknown Sassicaia winemaker, Piero Incisa della Rocchetta, discovered and purchased Bodegas Chacra in Rio Negro. The Argentinian vineyard's unique micro climate is ideal for growing biodynamic Pinot Noir.
Pair a bottle of this bright, lively red with a black truffle pasta by il Buco Executive Chef, Roger Martinez.
Sip a sherry and watch as our culinary team prepares your lunch right at the counter. Sample a 48 month in-house cured prosciutto, charred avocado with grapefruit & pomegranate, Bottarga Siciliana, an assortment of crostini, imported cheeses and other house made Italian delicacies.
Sagrantino Night at il Buco and il Buco Alimentari & Vineria
Sagrantino Night at il Buco Thursday, November 10th We will be offering a unique prix fixe menu showcasing The Scacciadiavoli Winery, the oldest estate in Montefalco chosen by our beloved wine director, Roberto Paris, a native of the region, who has been instrumental in introducing these wines to the NY market.
Sagrantino Night at il Buco Alimentari & Vineria Friday, November 11th For the second night of this special prix fixe dinner series, Roberto proposes the wines from our dear friend Marco Caprai, of The Arnaldo Caprai Winery, which single-handedly put the region of Umbria on the map for wine lovers.