6 at 77th St.
American Express, MasterCard, Visa
65th St. to 90th St., FDR Dr. to Fifth Ave.
This small, boxy Upper East Side café exudes comfort and conviviality, with parchment shades that soften light from sconces and warm the room despite the tightly packed tables. Eager to please, the kitchen uses high-quality ingredients for its mix-and-match philosophy. Patrons can choose their meats, their pastas (dried or, for a slight surcharge, the restaurant’s own homemade), and their sauces (from a simple marinara to a more complex carbonara) as they create their own dishes. Anything this egalitarian approach may sacrifice in authenticity is more than made up for in full-bodied flavors. Advice is readily available from the helpful—and nonjudgmental—staff. Personally, we advocate the obscenely creamy crabmeat in ravioli or the lush chicken scarpariello—white meat sautéed, then simmered, in a lemon, garlic, and white-wine sauce. To follow, you can’t go wrong with cappuccino served in a parfait-style glass or chocolate tartufo garnished in whipped cream.Recommended Dishes
Chicken scarpariello, $15.95; homemade crabmeat ravioli, $19.95; chocolate tartufo, $6.95