Arrived last night, Saturday, for a week-long business trip. Staying at the Park South Hotel on E. 28th Street. Since it was Saturday night I wondered if I would be able to do a walk-in at a decent place. Starting cruising and I decided to pass on the row of Indian places along 3rd Ave since I had a hankering for a couple of glasses of red wine with Italian. Passed Trulli! which looked good but was crowded. Also, the Turkish Kitchen looked very interesting and I have noted it for another time. Anyone eaten there?
Finally stopped at Piccolo at 226 Third Ave (@19th I think.) Nice neighborhood atmosphere, small with about a dozen tables. There were several to choose from when I arrived around 8:00 but the place soon began to fill up shortly thereafter. I ended up drinking glasses of Montepulciano which at about $6/glass was a bit on the high side, but good. I started with the acorn squash soup special which was just the right texture and had a wonderful just shy of spicy flavor. Not as good as my wife's version, but still very good!
My main course was the the rigatoni amici which included sausage, peas, onions and zucchini in a light tomato sauce. Beautifully done, I appreciated the fact that the tomato sauce did not drench and overwhelm everything. It was there as a complement, not the main event. Everything came to $38 before the tip. My server was efficient and friendly without being obnoxious, I was grateful that she didn't feel the need to tell me her name. All in all it was just what I was looking for and would definitely return.