Mon-Thu, 5pm-midnight; Fri-Sat, 5pm-1am; Sun, 5pm-10pm
6 at Bleecker St.
American Express, MasterCard, Visa
The drop-in diners here look as though they can't believe their luck. Ending up at this unprepossessing space for a casual bite, they've stumbled on attention-getting food. A birch bar on one side of the narrow room faces a handful of small tables and an exposed brick wall covered with shelves of wine bottles. There's another dining room hidden downstairs. Once the food arrives, it's clear you're in more than competent hands. The menu takes an easygoing dip into various Italian regional cuisines, from Di Palo ricotta cavatelli to Giannone chicken. House-made pastas stand up to rich, meaty sauces, like a lobster ravioli, as well as lighter seasonal treatments. Not everything finds the right balance, but the overall attention to detail is encouraging: The house-marinated olives have a complex fennel taste reminiscent of za’atar. With touches like these, Aroma earns itself a lot of good will.