The attractive, whitewashed dining room, affordable wine list and genial service can’t compensate for the absurd food at this LES Italian spot. The most outlandish of the concoctions from chef Giuliano Matarese (Nero) seem to dare you to order them: Chipotle cavatelli is served with mussels and broccoli rabe foam; beet carpaccio arrives with fried goat-cheese balls and Pollack-esque coulis drizzles. Thankfully, desserts, like a ricotta cheesecake, are more straightforward. If only the rest of the menu had also been spared.
173 Ludlow St
|Cross street:||between E Houston and Stanton Sts|
|Opening hours:||Mon–Thu, Sun noon–11pm; Fri, Sat noon–midnight|
|Transport:||Subway: F to Lower East Side–Second Ave|
|Price:||Average main course: $18. AmEx, Disc, MC, V|