C, E at 23rd St.; 1 at 23rd St.
American Express, MasterCard, Visa
10th St. to 33rd St., Fifth Ave. to Twelfth Ave.
More slick than special, Intermezzo dismisses the homespun, rustic-style trattoria in favor of the contemporary-urbane dining room. Blood-red leather and polished black-wood furniture outfit the room, and skimming the top edge of the banquette along one wall is a thin, six-inch-high gilded mirror. A curvy, oversized sofa simultaneously places its patrons on display while letting them survey the scene from its strategic position against the back wall, whose partitions create the impression of a giant rice paper screen. A euphonic fusion of ambient, electronica, and modern jazz, the music enhances the mood and harmonizes with the attractive stylings and dim lighting. The food doesn't stick to a single style, either. The kitchen borrows flavors from all over Italy's map: meat sauces and tortellini from Bologna; pesto from Genoa; pappardelle and wild game from Tuscany; saltimbocca from Rome; capers from Sicily. Looking farther afield for inspiration, select seafood comes prepared with jalapenos. Among the mixing and matching, straightforward dishes that incorporate simple, fresh ingredients are the most reliable. The delectable tiramisu is almost creamy and fluffy enough to make you reevaluate the meal. Among its thousand-fold Italian competitors, including seven others owned by the same company, Intermezzo is better on your wallet than your palate.Extra
Intermezzo's two-course, prix fixe dinner is $15.95, with a small surcharge for some dishes, Mon.—Fri., 4 p.m.—6:30 p.m.
Sat.—Sun., noon—4 p.m.