Had a great meal Friday night at MAX on Avenue B betw 3rd/4th. It's a small place... very traditional, homey Italian style but most dishes have an interesting twist. Started with a hot portabello app that was excellent and 2 basic salads.
I had porcini ravioli with a light cream sauce that was just perfect.
Staff is very italian and seem to really appreciate having you there (somewhat unusual these days I think).
Another good touch... as I said, it's a small place and there's no place to wait other than the sidewalk. Sooo... they take a cell # with your name and then phone you when your table is ready! There are a few bars around the neighborhood and it's perfect to just chill there. We waited about an hour at 8:30 on Fri night (3 ppl).