Sun-Thu, 5pm-11pm; Fri-Sat, 5pm-midnight
F at Second Ave.
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Luigi Iasilli, proprietor of the well-loved trattoria Max and its wine-bar spinoff, has nothing against Chianti, or Barolo, or Barbera. He just forgoes them in favor of their lesser-known, overlooked brethren, the wines of Southern Italy—in part because he hails from there, and in part because he predicts they will be the next big viticultural thing. There may be no cozier place to test his thesis than this snug, cavelike room, where extremely well-versed waiters explain the subtle differences between a Sardinian Cannonau, a Sicilian Nero d’Avola, and a Campanian Aglianico—just a few of the winning wines you’ll come across on the voluminous list. Iasilli uses good glassware and unfussy, wine-friendly tapas to bolster his argument, which, as the evening progresses and the Apulian Primitivo flows, becomes increasingly persuasive.
Picnics with a view, roller-skating nostalgia, and a party for gay headbangers.