Enjoyable and quietly elegant, Novitá boasts a genuine Italian sensibility both in setting and service. The small size and low ceilings foster a surprisingly serene ambience that is all but disappearing in the city. Prices are not cheap, but the quality is high. The cooking does not necessarily break new ground, but is nonetheless good. Rather than explore the costlier dishes that perhaps feature Kobe beef or black truffles, it’s best to stick to the tried-and-true favorites.
Start with a superb combination of pan-fried shiitake caps filled with shrimp and scallions. Then, move on to tiny orecchiette mingled with just the right amount of slow-cooked and fiery lamb ragù, broccoli rabe and grated cheese. The espresso-soaked tiramisu is a perfect pick-me-up.