Tue-Sun, 6pm-11pm; Mon, closed
F, V at Lower East Side-Second Ave.
American Express, MasterCard, Visa
It certainly wasn't the local scenery that drew Peasant's John LaFemina to this restaurant location—a gutted Lower East Side storefront across from a cheer-free housing project where round-the-clock hanging out approaches the level of performance art. Unless you have a thing for dinner theater, you'll be grateful ápizz has no windows. And once inside, you'll be in no rush to leave its rustic and ingratiating hearthside (which has been pleasantly enhanced since its opening), for not only do you instantly warm to a room built round an imposing, cycloramic brick oven (in which the temperature rises to nearly 900 degrees), but the aromas wafting from LaFemina's homey and heartfelt dishes like wild-boar lasagne, boccie-ready meatballs with ricotta, and apple crumble impart their own seductive heat. Reemerging onto Eldridge Street feels like being cast out of Eden, but enough of the enchantment will linger—even after you've schlepped to Allen Street to find a cab—that you're likely to plan a quick return.Recommended Dishes
Bianca pizza, $14