I wanted to put in a good word for Poetessa, where I had a wonderful meal on Tuesday night.
The outstanding appetizer was a salmon crudo which was notable for the addition of a discernable heat (spice, not temperature) not often employed with salmon.
One of the special entrees was a risotto with fiddlehead ferns and truffle oil. It was perfectly cooked (no small feat with risotto) and intensely flavorful.
Although I had read a negative review of the pasta dishes from another hound, we tried the polpettini della nonna, which was excellent. The pasta, like the risotto, was cooked perfectly.
Our server was gracious and helpful with wine choices, and the space was cozy and not crowded.
There are no shortage of good Italian restaurants in the East Village, but I recommend giving Poetessa a try -- I want to keep this place in my nabe.