Jadis- Wine bar on Rivington(?) Not a typical app./ entree type place, but lends itself to sharing... cheese, quiche, paninis, etc. Its beautiful and quiet and the owners are usually there and have always seemed genuinely nice people who care about their products. They have interesting beers on tap, and have a (tiny) backyard. http://www.jadisnyc.org
Bianca- on Bleecker. Could be crowded but the food and the decor is homey italian. lasagna seems to be the go to dish there.