Gusto Ristorante and Bar bills itself “as close to actually dining in Italy as it gets.” This West Village neighborhood eatery has won the loyalty of regulars with its emphasis on freshness; all pasta is made in-house, and the menu changes regularly to take advantage of seasonal produce. Expect to find dishes not often seen outside of Italy, such as seppioline (marinated cuttlefish). End the meal with a grappa or another dopo cena (after-dinner drink). Though the space may seem upscale with its golden walls, ebony tables, huge chandeliers, and back-lit bar, don’t be intimidated, as jeans are acceptable attire.
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From Food & Wine , MAR 2006
Jody Williams has quite a fan club for her classic, classic, classic Italian food. Chef Mario Batali is obsessed with her homemade pasta. Keith McNally, who owns two of New York's hardest-to-get-into restaurants, Balthazar and Pastis, hangs out at one of the window tables taking notes about the chewy focaccia (the toppings change quite frequently, but there's almost always a version that includes slices of prosciutto and shavings of pecorino)...MORE