From actually being expected to pay your tab, to actually being expected to leave a tip, having a friend with a restaurant never lives up to expectations. Going from having friends to being friends, half the quartet behind Civetta
A posh tavern split between a gleaming white marble bar with velvet highbacks and dark oak columnar supports, and a homier, vaulted-ceiling, wood-floor, stone fireplace'd dining room, Civetta's from an ill-talented motley crew: the restaurateurs behind the UES's Sfoglia, plus the real estate guy behind La Bottega del Vino's 60k-strong wine cellar, and an architect who designed Miami's B.E.D., where people love to get sheet-faced. The menu's a mid-priced pan-Mediterranean medley, running from ~$12 apps (dandelion pancetta, cipollini in agrodolce...), to all-but-one-under-$30 entrees, e.g., monkfish polpette in tomato, grilled sirloin alla pizziaola, and braised chicken thighs over fazzoletti -- or "little handkerchief", because their lawyers told them to avoid "Little Kleenex (TM)". As for the guzzle stuff, there's a buds-bewildering array of mostly-Boot vino (30+ glass, ~200 bottles), plus custom and classic cocktails like the Pompelmo Marmellato (gin, lime juice, ginger jam, bitters...), the walnut liqueur and brandy Patrissy's Punch, and The Pink Lady -- a drink for which you'll develop a serious Newton-Jones
Civetta's hosting private parties now, and plans to open next week, so you can quit frequenting the restaurants of friends you've lost from stingily eating at their places and skipping out on the bill.