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Low Key, Good Food Village/ W Village/ Soho/ Noho

Hi All,

Any recommendations for a

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      1. I'm currently liking The Smile.

          1. re: LeahBaila

            As it turns out I'm going to Rafele with a large group next weekend. Is there anything in particular you recommend we do/not order?

            1. re: egit

              Oh wow, cool! We enjoyed:
              Lambrusco-based sangria :)
              Ask for extra of the eggplant caponata that accompanies the gratis bread. Delish!
              Homemade pastas were good - I ordered one of the evening's specials.
              We liked the meatball appetizer, but I added salt.
              Eggplant melanzana was good, too.
              There are more things that I would like to try upon a return visit...

              I'd skip:
              Fried artichokes

              1. re: LeahBaila

                Melanzana simply means eggplant. Did you mean eggplant parmigiana, perhaps?

                1. re: Pan

                  They call it melanzana on the menu...theirs is like eggplant parm and pretty damn good, at that.

                  1. re: LeahBaila

                    That's like calling eggplant "eggplant" on an American menu. Nothing strange about it, but it tells no-one anything about the way it's cooked.

                      1. re: Pan

                        The eggplant (or melanze if you prefer) parmigiana at Rafele is excellent, regardless of what words or language you use to describe it. It's very similar to the preparation at the late lamented Bellavitae, except perhaps the cheese was not as well carmelized. I think it's eggplant, cheese and tomato sauce, more or less fitting my seven ingredient or less Italian fixation. Try it! The cauliflower is also excellent.

            2. Vin et fleurs, blanc et rouge, quinto quarto..

                1. re: midtownbill

                  Midtownbill, I just made reservations at LePescadeux, any recommenations on what to order? All looks good, hope it is. thanks.

                  1. re: kmcdonne

                    A scant half year from the time you requested information about Le Pescadeux, I'm here to give it to you! We had dinner there this evening, and it is a lovely little place. The gentleman who greeted us and checked in with us repeatedly throughout the meal (the owner, I assume) was a charmer, as was our server. We split the appetizer special, a lobster salad with avocado, shallot, cherry tomato, arugula and fennel. This turned out to be the evenings weakest dish. Although each ingredient tasted fine on its own, the whole was something less than the sum of its parts: too bland, too wet. And too cylindrical - I have a low tolerance for salads disguised as a game of Jenga. More happily, the bread was excellent, and my partner loved his risotto with uni and lobster. It was pretty swoon-worthy, and faultlessly prepared. My bouillabaisse was also very fine, with an assertive but not too heavy broth, and a wealth of perfectly cooked shrimp, mussels, fish (cod? probably cod), lobster and clams. Extra credit for the super-smooth red pepper puree that came with the toasts and gruyere.

                    The only downside was how cold it was in there, since the front wall was open. I'm sure that on a warm day, this would be very pleasant, but on a chilly spring night, it was not. Many of the diners were wearing their coats. As the room filled up with what seemed to be neighborhood regulars, it got warmer, and the atmosphere was further improved by an appealing jazz combo performing exactly what you'd expect - Misty, Night and Day, Ain't Misbehaving. A very nice evening all around.

                    1. re: small h

                      small h, thanks for the update, actually you validated my experience, nice place but nothing special. It was fine but not sure I would do it again, thanks again.