Mon-Fri, 5pm-midnight; Sat-Sun, 11am-4pm and 5pm-midnight
1, 2, 3 at 14th St.; F, G at 15th St.-Prospect Park
$16 - $42
American Express, Diners Club, MasterCard, Visa
On the corner of First Avenue in what used to be a quotidian grocery store, the former executive chef of Armani Ristorante purveys high-end Northern Italian fare. Truffles, lobster, and Lake Como–sourced olive oil abound on a frequently changing menu. Out of a bowl of spaghettini, a langostine peers out, whole, head-on, looking pleased to be part of the show—a tasty little treat with a hefty, Babbo-esque price tag. Ingredients are locally sourced when possible: seafood from Blue Ribbon Fish, meat from the Piccinini Brothers, and drinks that include a small batch, artisanal ale called Del Borgo Caos. Despite the effort put into its making, a puddle of Vialone Nano risotto fails to shine, but who will care when two walls' worth of steel-framed windows are swung out from floor to ceiling and the rich meal is taken al fresco? Indoors, East 12 Osteria contrasts the rustic exposed brick and tin ceiling that came with the place by adding sleek leather and chrome Gascon Stua chairs and mod handblown glass lighting fixtures made in Brooklyn. But it’s in the back of the house that the most cutting-edge elements reside: an eco-friendly induction oven and stoves cook up these fine-dining plates. From your sidewalk table, end your dinner with a Lavazza Oro espresso and some prime people-watching—it may not be Tuscany, but the East Village certainly has its charms.