F at Second Ave.
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The Siciliano sandwich is one of the standouts at Gaia, with its fine sheets of raw eggplant layered atop crisp, house-made flatbread, tomato, creamy caciotta cheese, and bits of bracing parsley. Though there are plenty of meaty options, chef Gaia Bagnasacco’s plant-driven dishes shine, from homemade gnocchi filled with spinach and ricotta and dressed in a refreshing tomato sauce to spritely, if at times too vigorously vinegary, salads. The subterranean café squeezes in a handful of glass-topped tables along with counter space for rich pastries, like flaky, Nutella-filled turnovers, as well as imported Italian cheeses and cured meats. On the exterior, a landscape painted by a local artist evokes Tuscany's rolling hills.Note
Takeout not available Fri.-Sat.Recommended Dishes
Spinach and ricotta gnocchi, $7; Siciliano, $5; arugula with cherry tomatoes in pesto sauce with Parmesan, $7; brioche with Nutella, $2