Sun, 4pm-10pm; Tue-Thu, 5pm-10:30pm; Fri-Sat, 5pm-11pm; Mon, closed
A, C, E at 14th St.; L at Eighth Ave.
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Everyone gets treated like family in Renato Migliorini's dining room. In this "little corner," a big cluster forms around the front door—hungry hopefuls craving a seat in the chaotic, brick-lined room, even while knowing the volume exceeds the pitch of a Yankees-Red Sox game. If it's not too hectic, the printed list of specials is replaced by Renato himself, theatrically shouting them above the din, complete with a thick Italian intonation. The portions attempt to steal the show with veal chops as thick as all three volumes of The Divine Comedy, and piles of mussels and clams. The regulars know the pasta is what's best, particularly the misshapen rounds of gnocchi, light yet plucky enough to stand up to the hearty veal and beef Bolognese sauce they're tossed in. Your appetite is well spent on satiny prosciutto with juicy honeydew and mild caciocavallo cheese. If you bypass an appetizer altogether you'll have room for the giant, chocolate-lined cannoli with tangerine-tinged ricotta inside. If you don't clear your plate, everything comes back in a doggie bag, whether you want it or not. "You bring it home," Renato says, and it's an order, not a suggestion. After all, it's his house, his rules.Recommended Dishes
Gnocchi alla Bolognese, $18.95; cannoli, $8