Kitchenetta

Vincent Foti opened Kitchenetta as a raging alternative to the red-checked tablecloth and Chianti cliché: This place is as cold as an ice palace, with chrome everything, and most nights conversation is held at many decibels, ("Try this! It's divine!"). But talking with your mouth full is bad manners anyway, and you'll barely take a breath between bites. Transparently thin grilled eggplant slices with homemade mozzarella (the effect is like chewing slightly salted cream) are topped with chopped tomatoes and extra-virgin olive oil. A round of flatbread comes out from the wood-burning oven puffed up like a presidential aide's ego. Three fat risotto balls loll in a shallow pool of marinara, a melt-in-your-mouth concoction of risotto, mozzarella, peas, a little onion, and prosciutto.

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