6, J, N, Q, R, Z to Canal St.
American Express, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
This venue is closed.
Focolare means fireplace in Italian, and a flickering wood-burner is the focal point of this rustic space, throwing a golden cast against wooden walls, dark floors, and a shiny-black painted bar; dim amber lights cast a cozy glow. Successful with Italian food in the New Jersey suburbs, Eileen Lombardi teamed up with her godson, chef Frank Lania, in August 2007 to fulfill a lifelong dream: Bring haute Italian food to the tourist trap that is Little Italy. But Lania’s original menu proved too ambitious for the tourists that crowded the neighborhood, so house-made pastas and grilled pizzas replaced entrees like duck breast with vanilla jus. Still, a few of Lania’s creations remain, like a rustic cannelloni stuffed with tender rabbit confit. Refreshing tiramisu from Lania’s mom’s recipe is made with Kahlua instead of espresso, and housemade ladyfingers, for deep, velvety flavor in each semi-sweet bite. But with plenty of better Italian restaurants in town, Focolare is still more of a safe-haven for out-of-towners set on supper on Mulberry Street than a dinner destination.Prix-Fixe Menu
Lunch: daily, two courses, $12.50; Dinner: daily, two courses, $19.50Recommended Dishes
Rabbit confit cannelloni, $22; swordfish prigiole, $23; tiramisu, $7