Novitá serves real Italian food for grown-ups, and the pleasantly muted setting lets it shine. Chef-owner Marco Fregonese knows how to treat you right: His kitchen showers diners with little gifts, from bruschette with oven-dried tomatoes and fresh mozzarella to little biscotti at meal’s end. A salad of mushrooms, baby artichokes and celery is crisp and bright in its lemon dressing, with slivers of Parmigiano-Reggiano lending a nutty edge. Tender venison is rolled with spinach and prosciutto, then served in a glossy reduction of red wine and beef broth. Finish with the cold, creamy hazelnut semifreddo, punctuated by crunchy bits of nougat and nuts.
102 E 22nd St
|Cross street:||at Park Ave South|
|Opening hours:||Mon–Thu noon–3pm, 5:30–10:30pm; Fri noon–3pm, 5:30–11:30pm; Sat 5:30–11:30pm; Sun 5–10pm|
|Transport:||Subway: 6 to 23rd St|
|Price:||Average main course: $20. AmEx, DC, MC, V|