Magazine article The New Yorker

Tables for Two

Magazine article The New Yorker

Tables for Two

Article excerpt

46 W. 22nd St. (206-0555)--One night in late September, this small, sleek new Italian spot in the Flatiron district was filled to capacity with the sort of handsome, well-heeled diners who probably never cook but nonetheless have to eat. The food was fine, but nobody seemed to notice; people just fed themselves and went home. It was tempting to dismiss the place as just another chic dispensary for hearty, well-turned-out Tuscan food.

By late October, the stark ivory-on-white space somehow seemed a lot warmer than it had been before: huge arrangements of dark-green magnolia leaves and autumn flowers brushed the ceiling at the bar and near the roaring wood oven. On each table, a votive sat on a curl of brown kraft paper decorated with sprigs of leftover hydrangea and a few crab apples.

It's likely--considering that the chef is Margherita Aloi, late of Le Madri--that the lamb chops were no less perfectly done than they had been before, that the ravioli with Bolognese sauce had always been rich but delicate, and that the list of Italian wines had always been exceptional. But tonight, diners were actually savoring their meals. …

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