Frank DeCarlo (Peasant) has brought a stylish Italian eatery to a weathered strip of Chinatown. Blown-glass chandeliers and a marble bar on the upper floor and a lower level that recalls medieval catacombs are easy on the eyes. (Good luck getting a table—it doesn’t take reservations.) Competent Italian food makes the gamble worthwhile: Pillowy gnocchi with mushrooms nestle in a velvety brown-butter sauce, and fritto misto has loads of tender octopus. Beware weak spots, such as white lasagna with bitter radicchio, and save room for a creamy panna cotta topped with stewed cherries.
119 Lexington Ave
|Cross street:||between Ludlow and Orchard Sts|
|Opening hours:||Tue–Sun 6pm–midnight|
|Transport:||Subway: F to East Broadway|
|Price:||Average main course: $15. AmEx, MC, V|
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