MICHELIN Guide’s Point Of View
You can’t keep a good man down, unless it’s Pino Luongo and by “down” you mean downtown. Chef Luongo is a legend and though his Upper East Side Coco Pazzo closed over a decade ago, it has reemerged Phoenix-like in this area South of Houston. Settled at the base of a so-SoHo tenement, the elegant space with steel-casing windows and Venetian plaster delivers on its promise of Italian flavor. Fans of this cuisine are bound to discover a host of favorites on the succinct menu. Shaved artichokes with parmesan make for a light starter; while Coco Sette-a pleasing dish comprised of chickpeas, lentils, vegetables and beans over chewy farro-warrants digging into. Charred octopus is elevated to memorable status with the addition of soft potatoes and burrata.