A, B, C, D, E, F, M at W. 4th St.-Washington Sq.
American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
This venue is closed.
This modest little Italian restaurant occupies a single long room, with a bar in the back for eating and one in the front for sipping wines. The floor is covered with wide wood planking, and the ceiling with countrified beams. Delicate, food-obsessed souls murmur over the quality of the green Nocellara olives (from Sicily) and the radicchio, which is state-inspected and picked by hand in the hills around Treviso. Unlike at some of the city’s other high-minded, ingredient-conscious foodie palaces, however, the menu here is presented casually, within the context of a familiar culinary tradition, and it’s relatively cheap. The straightforward, unfussy dishes include little pewter cocktail bowls filled with meatballs fried in extra-virgin olive oil and grilled figs from Calabria bundled in strips of pancetta. There are toasty crostini also, layered with Gorgonzola drizzled with that chestnut honey from Lake Como or puréed chickpeas splashed with Sicilian olive oil. The menu changes often at Bellavitae, but many of the more exotic ingredients (extra-virgin olive oils, caperberries from Sicily, etc.) are constant.