A little rustic Italian in Little Italy
When building an empire it's good to spread your efforts out, unless of course the other dude controls Kamchatka and Siam, in which case just FLIP THE BOARD AND BOOK IT, MAN!! Diversifying their Italian offerings, the team behind Davanti Enoteca
A new concept from the ever-expanding Mia Francesca crew, DE (translation "joint across the street") is separated from its white tablecloth siblings by its rustic flair, covering exposed brick with the fronts of old vino crates, and using glass milk jug fixtures to illuminate a bar made from 180-year-old barn wood, which shares with its overeager clientele that it can no longer get erected. The menu's loaded with sharable snacks, including mini mason jars ("vasi") filled with everything from chicken liver pate to ricotta w/ honeycomb; marscapone polenta topped with a "ragu of the day" (braised pork cheeks, etc); and Ligurian-style focaccia w/fresh cow's cheese, so delicious you'll gladly put up with its bull. Gripping mains feature 'za like the mind-boggling della Fattoria, which is laden with pork belly, potato, farm eggs, asiago, and bechemel, bavette pasta studded with sea urchin & crab, and braised fennel-kicked stuffed sardines with pine nuts, who are constantly needling the sardines about their eating habits
Perhaps most intriguing's the wine, which, in addition to a conventional list, can be purchased retail from a towering wall stacked with the stuff, and's enjoyable for a $7 corkage fee, saving you the mark-up charge and DUDE FLIP THE TABLE AND BOOK IT!