Subtlety is not a hallmark of this striking addition to the Union Square dining scene, outfitted with brash Fellini posters and a replica of the famous Roman sculpture La Bocca della Verità. The kitchen favors brazen pairings and techniques. A surprisingly successful appetizer features delicate petals of yellowfin tuna crudo marinated in (gulp) Sprite; pork belly is slow-cooked with juniper berries and served with chickpea-rosemary puree. For dessert, the wild-berry compote gets a delectable—if junky—kick via Nutella.
39 E 19th St
|Cross street:||between Broadway and Park Ave South|
|Opening hours:||Mon–Fri noon–3pm, 5:30–11pm; Sat 5:30–11:30pm; Sun 5:30–10:30pm|
|Transport:||Subway: N, R, 6 to 23rd St|
|Price:||Average main course: $24. AmEx|