Tue–Wed, 4–11pm; Thu–Fri, 4pm–midnight; Sat, noon–midnight; Sun, noon–11pm
6 at Bleecker St.; 6 at Astor Pl.; F at Second Ave.
American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
This cozy East Village joint's name means neighborhood in Italian: A vibe it cultivates with an elegant wooden bar, small tables, soft lighting, and personable staff. Formerly the upscale French bistro Calliope, Contrada creates an intimate setting for close friends and lovers to share small seasonal, seafood-centric plates with a Mediterranean flare. Between Second Avenue people-watching, diners feast on weekly changing, reasonably priced small plates like the roasted octopus with a hazelnut puree, 'nduja, a spreadable spicy Calabrian sausage, or the slow-smoked mussels served with romesco sauce and mint over sourdough toast. Bigger appetites can opt for large plates like the delicate cod au pistou swimming in a sea of green: beans, snow peas, and tarragon. Be sure to save room for dessert, though. The decadent ice-cream sandwich steals the show with chocolate-hazelnut cream stacked between thin chocolate cookie wafers and capped with hazelnut-brittle crumbs.Recommended Dishes
Ice-cream sandwich, $8