Sun-Thu, noon-11:30pm; Fri-Sat, noon-12:30am
1 at Christopher St.-Sheridan Sq.; 1, 2, 3 at 14th St.
American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
On a quiet West Village street, this warm, cozy taverna makes a strong case for the pleasures of cicchetti e ombre, or bite-size eats with good wine. Decorated with shiny white tiles, exposed brick and rustic wood tables, Aria serves up fine charcuterie, grilled tapas, and classic Italian dishes like vegetable lasagna. Entrees take a back seat to shareable plates: Warm gorgonzola-stuffed dates burst with a honey sweetness, while sizable grilled lamb chops are tender, garnished with rosemary and balsamic. A lively crowd lingers over a thoughtful global wine list and generous comforting desserts including grainy, creamy ricotta cheesecake, rich chocolate soufflé and heavenly panna cotta custard, both glazed with a tart blueberry sauce.Editor’s Tip
Don’t bring your wine swirling skills here; global wines are poured in thick five-ounce tumblers you’d mistake for shot glasses at your college bar.Recommended Dishes
Gorgonzola-stuffed dates with speck, $9; grilled lamb chops, $9; crab cakes, $9; panna cotta, $8; souffle di cioccolato $8