An Italian vacation in the East Village
It isn't easy to stuff yourself with food when you know you'll shortly have to stuff yourself into a Speedo, so skip a trip to the Amalfi Coast in favor of Piccola Positano, an homage to one of Italy's seafood capitals. Their seafaring savories are heralded by decorative ship sails, copious white tile, brick walls sporting murals of the namesake town, and a bar painted with mythical sea creatures, including the terrifying Sea Thomas Howell, and, uh...Ricky Waters?
Eschewing the extraneous ingredients that apparently confuse visiting Italians, the food hews to simplicity and was seriously researched (the pasta alla vongole was tested with clams from all over the world before lighting upon the perfect cockles), and includes traditional calamari fritti, mixed shellfish soup, and four different preparations (incl. sauteed w/ scallions, fennel, orange, black pepper, and olive oil) of "cultivated mussels", which refuse to be stuck with weak bivalves.
Further chowage comes from a wood-burning oven, open for all to see as it perfectly toasts ingredient-driven daily pies topped with everything from four-cheese blends, to speck, to smoked salmon, to egg that's been roasted...by Jeffrey Ross, for having only gotten laid once.
And to top it all off, there'll be a slew of vinos by the glass, plus draft birres both Italian and American, though not Italian-American, as the Jersey Shore has proven that they're too busy trying to stuff themselves into anything.