It is not always easy to travel over to the Mediterranean Sea and the countries around it. But, starting this year, Marco Higuera has been providing at least the culinary experience of the Mediterranean over at Osso Buco in Weston.
The experienced restaurateur has been in the food industry since 1987 and opened the new restaurant, which features Italian and Mediterranean vibes of his own creation, in late June. He came to the U.S. in 2012, interned at one point at the prestigious Beverly Hilton in California and almost opened Osso Buco in 2020, but opted to postpone as COVID-19 would have meant a swift shutdown.
“The whole time since moving here I was thinking about opening,” Higuera says. “It was a matter of finding the right place. I originally had a spot in Cedar Creek, looked at a place on First Avenue and found this through my chiropractor who knew Basil closed. I contacted the owner at the time, worked out a deal and closed out last year. Since then, we’ve spent time remodeling.”
Upon walking into Osso Buco, located in the former Basil restaurant space, visitors are treated to a vibe mixing steampunk and industrial elements together. The walls are a kind of painted brick and stone, Higuera himself also helped with some of the decorative fixtures and he adds though he has decades of experience in restaurants and corporate dining, some things about Osso Buco have still surprised him.
“The neat thing is that people hang around here after their meal is done,” he says. “They sit around and talk, drink wine and I can tell they are comfortable. Tables which maybe do not know each other also talk to each other a little bit. It is different, normally in places people go.”
The fine dining establishment’s reputation has mostly been spreading through word-of-mouth as of late and features dishes like bucatini e salsiccia and scarperia where several key ingredients are imported directly from Europe. Higuera hopes to bring in more flavors from other nations in the region like Morocco and Greece and does not want to limit himself to what he is doing now.
“As we go along we want to introduce more ingredients from the other side of the Mediterranean. Not like per se any dishes from there,” Higuera says. “We do not want to scare people off right away and have them think we are doing curry. I think our food is well-received.”
While many do credit different things for their success, Higuera adds two key things which brought him to where he is now are his wife Juelette and his ability to have a work-life balance.
“It has just been a matter of time I was at work focusing at work and at home focusing at home,” he says.”
Osso Buco is at 2106 Schofield Ave. Ste. 10 in Weston. It is open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and is closed Sundays and Mondays. More about the restaurant can be found at the Osso Bucco – Weston Facebook page. Evan J. Pretzer is a contributor to City Pages. He can be reached at [email protected].