Finally made it here for dinner last night. The first thing that struck me is how refreshingly "un-East Side-y" this tiny place is in an all-good way. No pretension. The very warm welcome from Heather, the pastry chef and co-owner, sets the mood of being at a friend's dinner party. The room is tiny but it was not overly noisy; very cute, brick walls, copper bar, big windows.
Two of us began with:
Salad of golden beets and mache with a dressing made with sherry vinegar. The gorzonzola toast was a perfect accent for this appetizer.
Risotto special. The highlight of the meal, with braised veal (?) lots of cheese, totally creamy and gooey, real comfort food and worth returning for. We considered having seconds of this.
Main courses were: Chicken under a brick for me. This was among the best chicken dishes I have tried in a NY Italian place..partially deboned; crispy outside, good flavor to the meat. But it is still a simple chicken dish so difficult to get too excited. Served with very good shredded, sauteed brussel sprouts....
Veal breast stuffed with pancetta and other things. Again, very good. Served with a wonderful squash puree.
Shared dessert was caramel ice cream over which hot espresso was poured. This was served in cup set beside four light, fried zeppole-like doughnuts.
The wine list had lots of interesting selections from all over the world, many in the under $40 range. I thought it was well worth exploring.
With a bottle of $24 dry Mosel riesling, dinner for two came to just over $100. We liked this place very much and plan to return soon to explore more of the pastas (ricotta gnocchi, for one) and the seafood dishes, which looked great at a nearby table.
Bar dining is encouraged so it is a great place for solo diners as well as procrastinators who cannot reserve ahead.