Bacaro

A Venetian small plates restaurant, serving crostini, pasta dishes, cheeses and other tasty morsels. Most of the seating is in romantic, exposed brick quarters downstairs. There are bars on both levels.

136 Division Street

212-941-5060

Tue-Sun, 6pm-midnight; Mon, closed

Web site

Gaia Italian Cafe

Authentic Italian panini and house-made specialty dishes, salads and sweets. Cured meats and cheeses imported weekly from Italy are also available for purchase in bulk. Opened in February 2011 by proprietor Gaia Bagnasacco.

251  E. Houston St.

646-350-3977

Open 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday; 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday; closed on Sunday

Website

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‘Inoteca

inoteca

Cusine: Italian
Address: 98 Rivington St./map
Phone: 212-614-0473
Hours:  Mon-Fri, noon-1am; Sat-Sun, noon-3am
Menu/web site
Reservations: no
Delivery: no
 
This wine bar at the corner of Rivington and Ludlow streets, one of the Lower East Side’s best places to watch the world go by, is an ideal location to spend a lazy afternoon, especially in the warm weather months.  There’s sidewalk seating and a dining room that’s open to the street, providing a European feel as you sip a glass of wine and nibble from a cheese and charcuterie plate.  The panini is excellent, and the pastas are very decent.  Brunch is a standout; the brisket and fried eggs is a personal favorite.

 

Mangiami

Cozy Italian wine bar with traditional pastas and seafood.

9 Stanton St., near Bowery

212-477-7047

Open Sun-Wed, noon-11pm; Thu, noon-11:30pm; Fri-Sat, noon-midnight

Menu

Tre

The sliver of a restaurant on Ludlow Street with a cozy backyard offers creative versions of Neopolitan street food. The menu features such items as fried rice balls, fried artichokes and lamb meatballs. There are also a variety of simply prepared pasta and meat dishes, plus a Monday night special (spaghetti and meatballs and unlimited sangria for $20).

173 Ludlow, near Houston

212-353-3353

Hours Mon-Thu, 5pm-11pm; Fri, 5pm-midnight; Sat, noon-midnight; Sun, noon-11pm

Web site

Reservations

FEATURES: outdoor dining, weekend brunch

Fatta Cuckoo

The tiny Italian spot on Clinton Street features seasonal ingredients (including vegetables from a backyard garden) and a Williamsburg refugee in the kitchen, Brett Ackerman of Diner and Marlow & Sons. Sandwiches and salads for lunch… pan roasted mussels, crab cakes and veal dumplings for dinner.

63 Clinton Street, near Stanton

212-353-0570

Hours: daily 11am-2pm; weekend brunch 11am-5pm

Web site

Pizza Shack

A dependable option for pizza and so much more (you can get everything from a burger to Shrimp Scampi).  At least one Lo-Down reader touts the meatballs. Fast delivery, gentle prices.

525 Grand Street, near Henry

212-477-3374

Menu

Delivery

Tre

Tre draws its culinary inspiration from Naples, where owner/chef Gino Piscopo was born.  The intimate little restaurant with a charming backyard seems a bit out of place on rowdy Ludlow Street. But once inside, you’ll be transported. The service is warm and the food well prepared. There’s a nice selection of pastas and small plates, such as fried rice balls and fried artichokes.

173 Ludlow, near Houston

212-353-3353

Web site

Reservations

FEATURES

Outdoor dining, weekend brunch

A-1 Pizza

A-1 Pizza offers a decent slice on the eastern end of Grand Street.

505 Grand Street, near East Broadway

212-533-0214

Open until midnight

Menu

Delivery

Sorella

An Italian wine bar with an ambitious small plates menu. The dining room feels like a sanctuary from bustling Allen Street, where Sorella is located. Inspired by the Piedmont region of Italy, the menu features items such as pate with duck fat, english muffin bread, a fried egg and bacon.

95 Allen Street, near Delancey

212-274-9595

Hours: Tue-Sat, 6pm-2am; Sun, noon-9pm

Web site

Reservations not accepted

Pulino’s

Keith McNally’s  (Balthazar, Schiller’s, etc) take on a Roman pizzeria and trattoria. The wood-fired oven produces slightly charred thin crust pies, featuring a lot of interesting toppings. Also on the menu: several antipasti platters and other entrees (roasted fish, hanger steak). Like all McNally ventures, Pulino’s highlights specialty cocktails and a big, lively bar.

212-226-1966

282 Bowery, at Houston

Hours: brteakfast daily 830am-1130am; lunch Monday-Friday noon-5pm; dinner daily 6pm-midnight; weekend brunch 10am-4pm

Web site

Delivery 11am-11pm

San Marzano

A brick oven produces crispy, thin crust pizza at this spot on the corner of Clinton and Rivington. San Marzano takes a lot of pride in sourcing high quality toppings.

71 Clinton, at Rivington

212-228-5060

Sun-Thu, 11:30am-midnight; Fri-Sat, 11:30am-2am

Web site

Rosario’s Pizza

A late night classic, serving Lower East Siders since 1963. Cheap slices, friendly service and passionate customers help Rosario’s keep gentrification at bay.

173 orchard, near Stanton

212-777-9813

Hours Sun-Wed, 10am-3am, Thu-Sat, 10am-5am

Menu

Rocket Joe’s

A late night standby. Rocket Joe’s features a sesame seed crust that some love and others love to hate.  Beware of the drunken mobs on Friday and Saturday nights.

61 Delancy, near Eldridge

212-334-5900

Open Sun-Wed, 11am-2:30am; Thu-Sat, 11am-4:30am

Menu Pages

Pala

Roman-style pizza is served in this conspicuous, open-air space on Allen Street. The dough rises over three days, resulting in a light and crispy crust. Toppings include pumpkin purée, marbled pancetta, artichokes and fresh peas.

198 Allen, near Houston

212-614-7252

Hours Mon-Fri, 4pm-midnight; Sat-Sun, 11am-1am

Web site