I don’t want to jinx this jinxed restaurant address with rashly optimistic judgments, but Accademia di Vino could be just what the neighborhood was waiting for: a comfy, laid-back spot to order a few $4 antipasti, a seriously al dente pasta to share, and wine by the glass. Nice ending for a Bloomies shopping binge or after the Third Avenue movies. Grilled pizzas are marvelous, crisp and not too cheesy. Every salad I tried, except for a soggy Caesar one evening, was a winner: the tricolore with goat-cheese fritters; escarole with hazelnuts, mint, and pecorino; herbed farro with tomato and cucumber. Prosciutto-Parmesan fritters and a crunchy baccalà cake with herb salad in a roasted-lemon vinaigrette should not be missed, and a cacio e pepe pasta is smartly Italian. When the powers of Ollie’s couldn’t make it work here, distantly related powers at ’Cesca bought out the lease, making ’Cesca’s Anthony Mazzola managing partner here. ’Cesca chef Kevin Garcia doubles as well. “I’ve always wanted to do something with wine,” says Mazzola, former owner of Sutton Wine Shop on East 57th. He counts 500 wines from Italy by the bottle, and a solid list by the glass. Tastings, lectures, winemaker dinners, and food-and-wine pairing sessions will roll out in fall. Coco Pazzo fans who’ve missed maître d’ John Fanning will be pleased to find him here, a welcome at the door or tripping by with a bottle to top off your glass.
Accademia di Vino
1081 Third Ave., nr. 64th St.; 212-888-6333