I've always been a proponent of Le Tableau, but if you search around on this board you'll see that some others aren't. (I'm sure they'll chime in straight away.) It's inexpensive, the food is very tasty, and the place is sort of intimate. A little loud, and sometimes the servers are out to lunch. But it's the East Village and the room is tiny--I feel like that's what you get. (Max is the most extreme example--even cheaper food, but even less elbow room and an even more taxed waitstaff.)
I last ate there a few months ago, but the menu is probably the same. The specials are usually good, but if you don't like any of them, look for the beet salad and the pork loin. The almond cake is good for dessert.
We went a few weeks ago for the first time. It is cozy and small. We had polenta, escargot, fish, duck and wine. Chocolate pots de creme for dessert. They also own LaVagna which I like alot better and have been to many times. LaVagna has an amazing wine list. It is also small and cozy, a neighborhood kind of place. Read the posts on menupages.com. The duck at The Harrison and Cornelia Street Cafe was better than Le Tableau.