Housed on the second floor of a nondescript low-rise, this long, deep and boisterous little SoHo alcove is as downtown New York as ever. It's also an ideal place to convene with friends over exquisite nibbles and quenching cocktails; and regardless of how loud it gets, there is an infectious, omniscient spirit that encourages diners to linger.
Maybe that’s because the talented chef behind this operation, Ignacio Mattos, is unfaltering and impressively consistent in his creative renditions of such bold and iconic dishes as ricotta dumplings with mushrooms and Pecorino Sardo. The menu goes on to offer an array of shareable plates that changes regularly, but if you spot that delightful risotto special, jump on it and worry about the calories later.
Dinner might kick off with perfect, sashimi-grade tuna accompanied by woodsy black trumpet mushrooms and elevated by a smooth and tart mirin-soy sauce. Your meal may then hit a crescendo, thanks to dramatically plated fried arroz negro scattered with tender squid and hazelnut-studded romesco. A soft and custard-y panna cotta decked out with vinegar, honey and smoked sea salt brings this enticing series of events to an exalted end.