Matt Yohalem's intimate neighborhood trattoria is a lively gathering spot for pre-opera-goers and post-gallery-hoppers. Windows overlook busy Marcy Street, a block from the Plaza, and butcher paper covers the tightly spaced tables. You'll always find a half-dozen entrée and starter specials, but devotees swear by Yohalem greatest hits like pumpkin ravioli with toasted pine nuts and a sweet-and-savory brown butter-sage reduction. Don't miss the dessert of chocolate-dipped cannoli stuffed with feathery ricotta.
Tip: Il Piatto's chummy bar is one of the better spots in town to meet locals, and the lengthy Italian wine list helps facilitate conversation.