People often take creative inspiration from where they grew up -- just look at Springsteen's lyrical odes to Jersey, or Bowie's songs about Mars. For modern Italian from a chef who was born in the Old World, hit Filini.
Drawing inspiration from the trattorias of his homeland (and kitchen time at three-Michelin-starred Le Bernardin), the chef at Filini's settled into a bi-level, 150-seat restobar sporting high-backed booths and massive oak communal tables surrounding a wide-open "exhibition kitchen", so the pans aren't the only thing that'll have flashes.
Start by nibbling on gratis Cerignola olives and Grana Padano cheese before moving on to tableside-carved more-cheese & charcuterie (Taleggio, prosciutto, speck), or a sextet of bruschetta topped with the likes of spiced beef carpaccio, or anchovies, black olives, and chick peas, which'll have you speeennnndin' (spendin' all your money on it, up on it...on it). From there hit fresh-made pastas like gnocchi w/ braised oxtail, vegetable ragu, and pecorino fonduta, plus mains of olive-oil-poached halibut (Brussels sprouts, wild mushrooms, macadamia nuts), and a tomato-/polenta-sided rosemary rabbit, also the name of Jessica's grandmother, who, face it, you'd still totally bang.
The downstairs bar sports mosaic floors, light-embedded tables, and its own menu of snacks, including spicily sauced meatballs and coal-fired fennel sausage pizzas, plus the 100-strong, glass-encased wine collection boasts a stock of heavy-hitting Italian magnums, consumption of which may lead to you losing ground control.